Scutaro swings Jays over slumping Mariners

Marco Scutaro matched his career high with four hits and the Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of Felix Hernandez’s worst start of the season, beating the slumping Seattle Mariners 11-4 on Monday night.

Toronto Blue Jays Vernon Wells slides in to score as Seattle Mariners catcher Rob Johnson loses the ball during the sixth inning in Seattle on Monday.

SEATTLE — Marco Scutaro matched his career high with four hits and the Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of Felix Hernandez’s worst start of the season, beating the slumping Seattle Mariners 11-4 on Monday night.

Lyle Overbay and Rod Barajas homered for the Blue Jays, who finished with 15 hits. Ricky Romero (9-4) pitched six innings for his sixth win in seven decisions.

Seattle, which has lost four straight, remained 7 1/2 games back of the AL West-leading Angels and fell 7 1/2 behind wild card-leading Boston. The widening gap could lead to some changes before Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

Counted on to stop any Seattle skids, Hernandez (11-4) allowed seven runs — tying a career worst — and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He had won a career-best seven consecutive decisions and was 10-2 with a 1.94 ERA following a Mariners loss this season.

Hernandez gave up seven runs for the fifth time and first since Sept. 9, 2007, at Detroit.

The Mariners even provided their ace with a 4-3 lead entering the sixth inning, but the hard-throwing right-hander gave up four runs and five hits in the frame, all with two outs.

After retiring Adam Lind and Scott Rolen to start the inning, Vernon Wells singled, Overbay walked and Alex Rios hit an RBI single into left field. Barajas followed with a slow dribbler past the diving glove of third baseman Jack Hannahan for an infield single to score Overbay.

Joe Inglett pulled a grounder into right field to drive in another run, and Scutaro capped the rally with a chopper into left that Hannahan couldn’t handle. Hernandez was finally pulled after throwing 103 pitches and striking out only two.

Since being a season-high seven games over .500 entering last Friday’s action, the Mariners have been outscored 42-10.

Romero gave up 10 singles to a Seattle offence missing Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez, both out with sore backs. But Romero didn’t allow any big innings, yielding four runs.

Chris Shelton drove in two for Seattle and Ichiro Suzuki had three hits to raise his season average to .362.

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