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September 25, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Mariners 7, Blue Jays 5

They can dare to dream for at least one more day.

The Mariners staved off elimination from the playoff consideration for at least 24 hours with a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays in their final regular season road game. It snapped a five-game losing streak while keeping them mathematically alive for one of the remaining wild card spots.

“It’s a good feeling,” manager Lloyd McClendon said.  “As dire as it may look, there are teams that wish they were in the Seattle Mariners’ shoes. We are still in it and we are going to play hard and see what happens.”

Seattle now heads home to Safeco Field for the final three-game series of the season against the American League West champion Los Angeles Angels. They will likely need to win all three games to have a chance. Of course they will also need a lot of help from the Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s

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The Royals beat the White Sox to stay three games up with three to play. But old friend Adrian Beltre provided a late homer and the A’s lost. They are only two up with three to play.

“Obviously that’s not how we wanted to play baseball this last stretch,” said catcher Mike Zunino. “But with a win, we know we still have hope and we can only take care of what we can take care of now. We have a tough series with the Angels, but I think we’re ready for it.”

They need some help in the form of losses. But at least they finally helped themselves at the Rogers Centre after dropping the first three games of the series. It only took nine pitchers to do it.

With scheduled starter Chris Young scratched earlier in the week, McClendon chose to have a “bullpen day,” starting reliever Tom Wilhelmsen and relying on the rest of his relieving crew to handle the duties.

Toronto also returned the favor and had a bullpen day as well since scheduled starter Marcus Stroman was in the midst of serving a five-game suspension.

A total of 15 pitchers toed the rubber in the game.

It didn’t look promising when Toronto took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning off of Lucas Luetge, who was trying to clean up a small mess left by Wilhelmsen.

With the Mariners in the midst of one of their offensive funks – having not scored in 15 straight innings coming into the game – a two-run deficit felt like 20.

Seattle finally snapped its scoreless innings streak at 18. Chris Taylor led off the fourth inning with a bunt single off spot starter Daniel Norris. It was Seattle’s first hit of the game. Kendrys Morales later drew a one-out walk, ending Norris’ outing at 59 pitches.

The Blue Jays brought in right-hander Todd Redmond. Kyle Seager greeted him with a soft single to center to score Taylor from second.

It was their first run since the third inning of Tuesday’s 10-2 loss.

And since they had one run, the Mariners figured they might as well continue the rare trend.

Logan Morrison jumped on the first pitch he saw from Redmond – a 91 mph sinker – and crushed it over the center field wall for a three-run homer to make it 4-2.

“I was looking for something up and over the plate and was able to put the barrel on it,” he said.

But typical of this miserable road trip, the Mariners couldn’t keep the unexpected lead. Joe Beimel walked the first two hitters of the inning to start the trouble. His replacement, Yoervis Medina, gave up a sac fly to Edwin Encarnacion to score a run and a RBI single from Adam Lind to tie the game at 4-4.

Based on all that has gone wrong in the last 10 games, it sure seemed that would doom the Mariners.

Instead, Morrison gave them the lead right back in the top of the sixth. He jumped on a 1-1 fastball from lefty sidearm pitcher Aaron Loup, yanking a line drive over the wall in right field for his second homer of the game and 11th of the season. It was the second multi-homer game of his career.

“I don’t have any idea how I hit that guy,” Morrison said. “He’s filthy. I blacked out. I don’t know what happened.”

Of Morrison’s last six homers, they all have either tied the game or given Seattle a lead.

“It’s a good feeling when your teammates are looking at you to get the job done,” he said.

The homer barrage wasn’t done. Later in the inning, Mike Zunino worked a 3-0 count against right-hander Dustin McGowan and was given the green light. He made the most of it, crushing a fastball over the wall in left field for his 22nd homer of the season to make it 6-4.

Seattle added some insurance in the seventh inning on a RBI single from Kyle Seager, who is now four RBI away from 100 at 96 for the season.

Fernando Rodney picked up his 47th RBI of the season, despite giving up a homer on the first pitch of the ninth inning to Kevin Pillar.



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