M’s beat Jays in Halladay’s possible Toronto finale
SEATTLE — Ken Griffey Jr. doubled twice and drove in the decisive runs in the seventh inning, and the Seattle Mariners tagged Roy Halladay with a season-high 11 hits while beating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday.
The Mariners won for the second consecutive time after a four-game losing streak.
They got a solo home run from ailing Jose Lopez, then loaded the bases on three singles in the seventh against Halladay (11-4), whom Toronto has declared open for bidding on the non-waiver trade market that closes Friday afternoon.
The 39-year-old Griffey, hobbled by a knee that was surgically repaired last fall, then golfed the first pitch he saw from Halladay into the right-field corner. Rookie Michael Saunders, who had bunted past Halladay to start the inning, scored ahead of Ichiro Suzuki.
The crowd of more than 32,000 had been wilting most of the afternoon on the hottest day in Seattle history — 102 degrees downtown. But Griffey’s double revived them, and made Halladay a loser for the third time in four decisions.
Ryan Rowland-Smith carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his third start of the season, before Aaron Hill singled leading off. Adam Lind then hit a 1-1 fastball halfway up the section of seats beyond right-center field to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Rowland-Smith (1-1) angrily stomped and yelled at himself as Lind rounded the bases for the 21st time this season. Yet the Australian left-hander, delayed this season by an elbow injury and ineffective, extended rehabilitation stint at Triple-A, rebounded to allow just three hits and the two runs in seven innings for his first win since Sept. 27.
Mark Lowe pitched a scoreless eighth inning before David Aardsma walked Hill to begin the ninth. But Aardsma struck out Lind looking and Scott Rolen swinging at a high fastball before retiring Alex Rios on a fielder’s choice for his 25th save in 27 chances.
Rumors ran all morning from Seattle back to Toronto that Halladay was being scratched from his start because of an imminent trade. Then the Philadelphia Phillies, thought to be the front-runner to obtain Halladay, traded for Cleveland ace Cliff Lee instead.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston noted Philadelphia still has its top prospects that Toronto was supposedly seeking in dealing Halladay.
When asked in Seattle if he felt his team was fortunate that the Phillies acquired Lee instead of Halladay, Gaston said with a chuckle, “Yeah, I guess. Who knows? They may come back and get (Halladay), too. That’d be a pretty good staff there, wouldn’t it?”
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