Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Paxton Stellar through Seven Innings as Mariners Top Blue Jays

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Paxton Stellar through Seven Innings as Mariners Top Blue Jays

Article excerpt

Canada's Paxton leads Mariners over Blue Jays

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TORONTO - Marco Estrada battled through inconsistencies to keep his team in a tight ball game on Friday night. The Blue Jays offence couldn't figure out Seattle's James Paxton, though.

The Canadian left-hander allowed just three hits and one run while striking out nine over seven innings as Seattle edged Toronto 2-1.

Estrada (5-4), meanwhile, in his first start since July 2, gave up two runs on seven hits while hitting two batters, walking one and striking out two.

"I felt good, just rusty," said Estrada, who landed on the disabled list with a back injury prior to the all-star break. "I threw a lot of first-pitch balls, I was behind in the count a lot, it was tough, it was a grind.

"I guess that's to be expected when you miss that much time but I still battled, kept the team in the game. You have to tip your hat to the other guy, he threw a heck of a game."

Paxton, of Ladner, B.C., made his only real mistake in the second inning when he allowed a solo home run to his former Seattle teammate and fellow Canadian Michael Saunders.

Paxton retired 12 straight after the homer, with a walk to Josh Thole snapping that streak in the sixth inning. Josh Donaldson, with a double, and Troy Tulowitzki, with a single, accounted for the rest of Toronto's (54-43) offence.

"He's always had a really good arm, really good stuff," Saunders said of Paxton. "I got to see him when he first came up and I thought he was going to be a special pitcher. Tonight he was hitting his spots, keeping us off-balance.

"He's a left-handed arm that throws 100 miles an hour, so yeah, he's got good stuff."

Robinson Cano and Seth Smith drove in runs for the Mariners (49-47). Edwin Diaz struck out two more Toronto batters in the eighth and Steve Cishek rung up three in the ninth for a total 14 K's.

"Not much offence, really, but Paxton was that good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Toronto threatened in the ninth with a two-out walk from Edwin Encarnacion and a single by Tulowitzki. …

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