Semien, Bichette power Blue Jays to 9-3 win over Mariners

Marcus Semien homered and drove in five runs, Bo Bichette hit a three-run homer, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Seattle Mariners 9-3 on Tuesday night.

The Blue Jays had 15 hits — with all nine starters getting at least one — in the opener of the three-game series while winning for the eighth time in nine games. It’s the 35th game in which Toronto had at least 10 hits, matching Houston for the most in the majors.

Semien had three hits, including a three-run homer in the seventh inning — his 19th, the most among major league second basemen. He also had a two-run double in the second inning.

"Our old nemesis," Mariners manager Scott Servais called Semien, who played six seasons in Oakland before signing with Toronto in the offseason. "He’s always been a thorn in our side and he had some really quality at-bats tonight.

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Vladimir Guerrero had two hits to bring his AL-leading total to 96. His 27 multihit games lead the majors. The Blue Jays also got two hits apiece from Teoscar Hernández, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Bichette, who broke open a tie game in the sixth inning by hitting his 15th home run.

"It’s really fun to watch these guys get in the box and take those swings," said Blue Jays starter Robbie Ray (6-3), who struck out 10 while giving up five hits, a walk and three earned runs over six innings. "It’s not just the top four, five, six hitters. It’s all the way down through the lineup. Everybody is swinging the bat well now."

Ray settled down after allowing two baserunners in the first inning and got 14 outs in a row to earn his fourth win in his last six starts.

"That first inning, I felt like they were more patient, they ran my pitch count up to 30," Ray said. "Then once I turned the lineup over and got back to the top of the order, they were hacking."

Tim Mayza, Jacob Barnes and Tayler Saucedo combined for three shutout relief innings.

Ty France hit a tying three-run homer in the sixth for the Mariners, who fell to 2-2 in the fourth of a six-game road trip. Mitch Haniger and Tom Murphy also had two hits.

Chris Flexen was tagged for seven hits, three walks and three runs over five innings. Rafael Montero (5-3) gave up four hits in the sixth inning, including Bichette’s homer.

"That was not a good pitch," Servais said. "It wasn’t in the game plan, wasn’t what we were supposed to do there. And we paid the price."

Servais said pitchers can’t afford to make those mistakes against the Blue Jays’ potent lineup.

"They’ve got a really good offensive club and if you make mistakes, they take advantage of it," Servais said. "Especially in this ballpark."

The Blue Jays improved to 7-6 at Buffalo’s Sahlen Field, home of their Triple-A affiliate. They have hit 19 homers and scored 72 runs in those 13 games.

"Every day, it’s somebody different," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "It’s a great feeling to know that."

STICKY SITUATION

Mariners pitcher Héctor Santiago became the first player disciplined under Major League Baseball’s crackdown on grip-enhancing foreign substances, as he was given a 10-game suspension Tuesday.

Michael Hill, the former Marlins general manager who is MLB’s senior vice president for on-field operations, announced the penalty two days after Santiago was ejected from a game at the Chicago White Sox. Santiago also was fined an undisclosed amount.

Santiago appealed the decision to MLB special adviser John McHale Jr., and the suspension will be delayed until the appeal is decided. Servais insisted before Tuesday’s game that there was no foreign substance on Santiago’s glove and that it was rosin.

BLUE JAYS TRADE

Toronto acquired injured outfielder Corey Dickerson and reliever Adam Cimber in a trade Tuesday with the Miami Marlins in exchange for infielder Joe Panik and minor league reliever Andrew McInvale.

Dickerson is sidelined with a bruised left foot and expected to be in a walking boot for at least two more weeks. He’s batting .260 with two homers and 14 RBIs.

The sidewinding Cimber has a 2.88 ERA in 33 games. He is expected to join the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Tuesday, Montoyo said.

ROSTER MOVES

The Blue Jays called up outfielder Jonathan Davis to replace Panik, and designated left-handed pitcher Travis Bergen for assignment

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Erik Swanson (groin) did not pitch his scheduled rehab assignment for Triple-A Tacoma on Monday because of a sore back. ... 1B Evan White (hip) received a cortisone shot. ... Servais had no update on RHP Justin Dunn (shoulder) following his appointment with a specialist last week.

Blue Jays: RHP Rafael Dolis (finger) threw 25 pitches during batting practice and could be designated for a rehab assignment with this week, Montoyo said. ... LHP Steven Matz (COVID-19) returns Wednesday.

UP NEXT

The series continues Wednesday night when Mariners LHP Justus Sheffield (5-7, 5.69 ERA) takes the mound against Matz (7-3, 4.26).