Sanchez, Blue Jays beat Mariners to avoid sweep

Toronto, ON ( - Edwin Encarnacion and Ryan Goins each hit a two-run home run to help the Toronto Blue Jays to an 8-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

The homers backed a solid outing by Aaron Sanchez (4-4), who allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings with four strikeouts. Goins finished with three RBI after he drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh.

"Sometimes, things speed up on me out there," said Sanchez. "That's kind of my thing to do. I just step back behind the mound, take a few breaths and get back to work."

The Blue Jays avoided a sweep after losing the first two games of the series by one run.

Taijuan Walker (1-5) lost a third straight decision despite starting with four no-hit innings. He allowed both home runs in the fifth and finished with four runs allowed on six hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.

"He competed well," said Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon. "I thought he did a nice job, but he made a couple mistakes."

Kyle Seager, who scored both Seattle runs, hit a second-inning solo homer for the second straight day, and Walker used 52 pitches to get through the first four innings despite walking three batters.

Kevin Pillar picked up Toronto's first hit with a leadoff single in the fifth, and Goins followed with his first home run of the season to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. After Walker retired the next two batters, Nelson Cruz's misplay of Russell Martin's single turned it into a double and Encarnacion launched his 12th home run into left field to extend Toronto's edge to 4-1.

Welington Castillo's sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Seager and pulled the Mariners within two, but their bullpen allowed the game to get out of hand in the bottom half of the inning.

After Encarnacion's one-out single, Chris Colabello's double put a pair of runners in scoring position. Justin Smoak's single added an insurance run, and Ezequiel Carrera laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Colabello and reach base with a single when no one covered first. Joe Beimel then walked two batters to give the Blue Jays another run, and they went up 8-2 when Seattle could not turn a double play on Steve Tolleson's groundout.

Toronto's bullpen fared much better with four relievers combining to retire seven of the eight batters they faced to wrap up the win.

Game Notes

Sanchez, who entered the game with a league-leading 32 walks, tied a season low with two free passes issued ... The two starting pitchers were drafted near each other in 2010. After the Blue Jays selected Sanchez No. 34 overall, the Mariners took Walker with the No. 43 selection ... Toronto slugger Jose Bautista sat out with shoulder soreness ... Seager extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... Each team resumes play Monday with Toronto hosting the White Sox for three games and the Mariners traveling to St. Petersburg to start a three-game series with the Rays.