Seattle, WA – Jason Vargas tossed seven strong innings to lead the Seattle Mariners past the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-2, in the middle test of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
Vargas (12-7) allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk to win his fifth straight start.
"It's been great, definitely nice to go out there and see runs on the board early," said Vargas. "It's my job to keep it's where it's at and not give it up. We've been scoring a lot lately and I hope we keep scoring."
Dustin Ackley homered and knocked in three runs for the Mariners, who extended their season-high win streak to six games.
Aaron Laffey (2-2) gave up seven runs on nine hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings for Toronto, which dropped its third consecutive game.
Brett Lawrie supplied the offense for the Blue Jays with a two-run double in the third inning.
Seattle opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning on Ackley's leadoff blast over the wall in right field and then added three more runs in the second.
Mike Carp started the rally with a one-out single, advancing to third on Miguel Olivo's double and coming home on a Trayvon Robinson base hit to center field.
Robinson moved to second on Colby Rasmus' throw home on the play and Brendan Ryan followed with a single through the right side of the infield to plate Olivo. Robinson scored on an Ackley grounder to first to give the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
"They (Mariners) did a good job stringing some hits together," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Whether they were line drives or balls through the hole, they were able to bunch some hits together and once again we find ourselves down early in the game and it eliminates some of the aggressiveness we might otherwise look to use."
Toronto answered with a pair of runs in the third when Jeff Mathis and Moises Sierra both hit one-out singles before rounding the bases on Lawrie's double into the left-field corner.
But Seattle got a run back in the fourth when Robinson doubled to left, moved to third on a Ryan single and came home when Ackley beat out a potential double-play grounder back to the mound.
The Mariners increased their lead in the fifth after loading the bases with a walk by Casper Wells, a base hit by Kyle Seager and Carp was hit by a pitch.
Laffey was then replaced by Brandon Lyon and Olivo greeted the reliever with a two-run single up the middle for a 7-2 advantage.
Vargas, meanwhile, retired 10 straight batters until Yunel Escobar led off the seventh inning with a single to left. He was immediately erased by a Kelly Johnson fielder's choice that was followed by a Rajai Davis single, placing runners on second and first with one out, but a couple of fly outs by Mathis and Sierra put an end to the threat.
Shawn Kelley stranded a runner on third in the eighth before Josh Kinney struck out the side in the ninth to close out the game for Seattle.
Ackley's leadoff home run was his second this season and also the second of his career...Sierra's base hit in the third inning was his first career hit...Vargas improved to 1-3 in six career starts against Toronto...Laffey fell to 1-2 in seven career starts against the Mariners...Seattle won its sixth straight game against a left-handed starter...The Mariners now lead the season series between the teams, 3-2.