SEATTLE — Ichiro Suzuki dumped an 0-2 pitch from Toronto reliever Scott Downs into centre field with two outs in the ninth inning to score Rob Johnson, and the Seattle Mariners snapped their four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Suzuki golfed the pitch nearly off the dirt and served it over the head of shortstop Marco Scutaro and in front of centre-fielder Vernon Wells. It was the first game-ending hit of Suzuki’s career.
Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth off Downs. He got two quick outs, but couldn’t sneak the last pitch past the league leader in hits.
David Aardsma (3-3) got the win pitching the ninth. He allowed a leadoff single but retired the next three batters.
Jack Hannahan singled off Downs (1-3) to lead off the ninth, his third hit of the game. Johnson nearly ended the game with a line drive that had home run distance but was a few feet foul but walked on a 3-2 pitch.
Chris Woodward then bunted and reached when Downs couldn’t handle the roller. Jose Lopez then pinch-hit for rookie Michael Saunders, who was 0-for-3, and hit a chopper to Scott Rolen at third, who threw home to get Hannahan.
Ronny Cedeno, mired in an 0-for-24 slump, struck out on three pitches before Suzuki got his third hit of the game.
Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn appeared on his way to a fifth straight victory, but his hopes at extending the streak and potentially having a winning send off to his time in Seattle — should he get traded — was ruined by an eighth-inning collapse by reliever Mark Lowe.
Washburn held Toronto scoreless through six innings and left following the seventh with a 3-1 lead after giving up just one run and five hits.
Lowe started the eighth allowing consecutive doubles to Scutaro and Hill, the second barely staying in the park, as the Mariners’ lead was cut to 3-2. After getting Wells and Rolen on pop ups, Alex Rios hit a shot just inside the bag at third to score Hill and tie it.
Facing Seattle for the first time, Toronto rookie Mark Rzepczynsk allowed two hits and struck out eight through five innings, retiring 11 straight at one point.