The Toronto Blue Jays had a chance to complete a four-game sweep and put another nail in the coffin of the Seattle Mariners playoff hopes on a late Thursday afternoon at The Dome. The game featured a couple of promising performances by a pair of newcomers who will be counted upon in 2015.
Lefty Daniel Norris was given his first major league start in front of the hometown faithful.
Adam Lind is able to chase down a Kendrys Morales pop fly in foul territory for the first out of the second inning.
Daniel Norris shows off his athleticism by snaring a tapper from Logan Morrison and tossing it to first base to end the second. Sadly, that would be the last time the Jays could keep Morrison in the park.
Danny Valencia started a two-run rally with a leadoff single in the bottom of the second inning.
Anthony Gose heads back to first base moments after driving home Danny Valencia with the first run of the game after a run-scoring single off Tom Wilhelmsen.
Kevin Pillar reached on a fielder's choice and would score on a Ryan Goins fielder's choice to make it 2-0 Jays. Pillar is being congratulated by Dalton Pompey.
With the Mariners up 4-2 thanks in large part to a three-run home run by Logan Morrison off Todd Redmond in the fourth, Dalton Pompey would lead off the fifth with a walk against Joe Beimel and went to second when Munenori Kawasaki drew ball four. Pompey then swiped third for his first stolen base in the bigs.
Dalton Pompey is greeted by Danny Valencia after scoring on an Edwin Encarnacion sacrifice fly off Yoervis Medina.
Munenori Kawasaki slides safely into home plate on an Adam Lind RBI single to tie the game at 4-4.
A Logan Morrison homer off Aaron Loup and a Mike Zunino dinger off Dustin McGowan in the sixth inning put Seattle ahead for good. Kyle Seager singled off Brandon Morrow to make it 7-4 Mariners in the eighth. At that point, your intrepid photographer decided to check out the view from center field. Moments later, Kevin Pillar crossed home plate after a home run to left field off Mariners closer Fernando Rodney. That was as close as the Jays got as they fell 7-5 to Seattle in the series finale.
The most encouraging part of the game was Daniel Norris battling his way through 3-1/3 innings in which he was charged with two runs on a hit and two walks. His line looked worse after Todd Redmond coughed up the lead later that inning. Still, Norris struck out Robinson Cano swinging on an 82-MPH changeup for his lone whiff. He was clocked as high as 94 with his fastball, which settled in around 89-91. He also threw a 69-MPH curveball to retire Michael Saunders on a fly ball and threw sliders in the low-to-mid-80s. He retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced before running out of gas. Though just 29 of his 59 pitches were thrown for strikes, Norris was able to gut it out as he underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow after the season.
The other encouraging part was seeing Dalton Pompey get on base three times with a single and two walks while getting his first stolen base. Kevin Pillar also threw out Kyle Seager at second base after Seager tried to stretch his RBI single into a double in the eighth to complete a decent game with the bat and glove.
The Jays were denied victory number 82 on this day but they would get it the next night against the Baltimore Orioles to guarantee a winning season that ultimately saw them finish with a record of 83-79.