Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jays hope win turns things around

Pound out season-high 15 hits in slaughter of M's

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TORONTO -- After a string of deflating losses, everything finally went right for the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday at Rogers Centre.

Mark DeRosa belted a three-run homer and Melky Cabrera added a solo shot as Toronto crushed the Seattle Mariners 10-2 to end a four-game losing skid. The Blue Jays had a season-high 15 hits and Brandon Morrow turned in a solid eight-inning performance for his first win of the season.

"That's a pretty good recipe today for winning," said manager John Gibbons. "Great pitching and we made a lot of things happen offensively, we got a lot of hits.

"It was a good game. We've been waiting for that one."

DeRosa, Cabrera and Maicer Izturis had three hits apiece for the 11-21 Blue Jays, who avoided the three-game sweep. Joe Saunders absorbed the loss as Seattle (15-18) had its three-game winning streak come to an end.

It was a rare offensive outburst from the Blue Jays, who had struggled at the plate throughout the 2-4 homestand.

"We were desperate for that, we needed something like that," Gibbons said of the victory. "It's not like we're just waiting to get on a roll. We needed a win and they were hard to come by.

"Hopefully that spurs something ... we'll see."

Cabrera opened the bottom of the fifth inning with his first homer of the season. DeRosa followed a few batters later with a rainbow shot -- his second homer of the season -- that landed in the centre-field seats.

"No one's giving up in here," DeRosa said. "We're going to keep fighting. We've got the guys to do it and we're going to keep going. Brandon pitched a heck of a game for us."

Morrow (1-2) allowed just three hits and had just one bad inning.

He issued back-to-back walks to open the fifth and loaded the bases on two occasions before escaping on a Michael Morse fly ball. Morrow gave up two earned runs in the frame and finished the day with five walks and eight strikeouts.

It was the longest start by a Toronto pitcher this season.

"It always helps when you get a lead pitching," Morrow said. "You can be more aggressive and you feel good about throwing the ball in the strike zone, you don't worry about guys getting on.

"It's always nice to get some run support."

Saunders (2-4) lasted five innings and allowed seven earned runs, nine hits and walked a pair.

"It was a battle today for sure," he said. "They put some good swings and on some good pitches -- just one of those days."

Toronto leadoff hitter Rajai Davis opened the scoring in the first inning. He doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Cabrera and scored when Jose Bautista hit a flare to short right field.

Seattle second baseman Dustin Ackley was hampered by the blinding sunlight and did well to make an off-balance catch for the out. Davis took advantage and sped home on the sacrifice fly.

Toronto will kick off a four-game series at Tampa Bay tonight. Left-hander Mark Buehrle (1-2) is scheduled to start.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 6, 2013 C7

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