SEATTLE, WA -- The Toronto Blue Jays made sure rookie pitcher Chad Gaudin had some run support to work with after a bat-around first inning by the Jays that plated five runs, as Gaudin survived a shaky first inning to win his Blue Jays debut, 9-7.
A huge night from Vernon Wells might have calmed down the nerves for Chad Gaudin, who was making his Blue Jays debut Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners. Wells took Ryan Franklin out of the yard twice, his tenth and eleventh home runs of the season, pacing the Blue Jays to a 9-7 win.
The Jays would hit the ground running off Mariners starter Ryan Franklin. Lead off man Reed Johnson would get things started with a single, followed by an Orlando Hudson double to deep center, scoring Johnson – Hudson would move down to third as the throw came to the plate. Aaron Hill would bring him home with a single to left making it 2-0 Jays. Eric Hinske would keep the Jays hot start going one out later with a single of his own, advancing Hill to third. Vernon Wells would then tag Franklin deep to left for a three-run shot. Gregg Zaun and Frank Catalanotto would both single before Franklin finally got out of the inning where the Jays sent ten batters to the plate, jumping out to a 5-0 lead.
Gaudin, working with a five-run lead, appeared nervous in his first start as he allowed a single to Ichiro Suzuki and a walk to Randy Winn who both advanced on an Adrian Beltre groundout to second. With the jitters out of the way, Gaudin settled down and struck out Richie Sexson and got Raul Ibanez to ground out to Russ Adams at short getting out of the jam.
Franklin would retire the Jays in order in the second but Vernon Wells was at it again in the third, following a Hinske single with another deep blast to left, his second home run of the game, making it 7-0 Toronto. Seemingly having enough of the Toronto hitters this night, Franklin hit Reed Johnson with a fastball just above the belt prompting Home Plate Umpire Jim Wolf to eject the righty from the game. Franklin finished going 2 and 2/3 innings allowing seven runs, five earned, on ten hits. Reliever Julio Mateo replaced Franklin and got Hudson to fly out, ending the inning.
Gaudin, who settled down after the first, set down the Mariners thru four innings before they’d string together a pair of singles from Suzuki and Winn in the fifth, allowing Beltre to double home both men, getting Seattle on the board, trailing now 7-2. Gaudin would exit after the fifth, reaching 93 pitches, allowing two runs on seven hits, striking out six in five innings of work.
Left-hander Scott Downs would enter the game in the sixth holding Seattle scoreless for two innings, allowing just one hit.
Mateo, who was touched up for two home runs in game one of this series, was taken deep again, this time by Shea Hillenbrand in the seventh, a two-run shot, and his sixth of the campaign, pushing the score to 9-2.
The Mariners would get one back in the eighth off reliever Justin Speier, when Rene Rivera slapped a single into left-field, bringing home Jeremy Reed.
Scott Schoeneweis would come in to work the ninth, but fell victim to an Ibanez single, followed by a walk to rookie Mike Morse, and another single to Reed, bringing home Ibanez, inching closer at 9-4. Willie Bloomquist would then double to the gap in left-center scoring both Morse and Reed, cutting the advantage to 9-6. Miguel Batista would come in to stop the bleeding and enforced two groundouts, scoring one run, followed by a double by Winn, before getting Greg Dobbs to pop out to short ending a wild night for his ninth save of the year.
The Blue Jays will look for a series win on Wednesday night as Gustavo Chacin (5-3) takes the ball for Toronto, facing Seattle right-hander Gil Meche (4-3).
The game can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 10pm EST with radio coverage on The FAN 590AM.
InsideTheDome’s Game Notes: Frank Catalanotto returned to the lineup Tuesday night and had a great game, going 3-for-4. Frank was away from the team on bereavement leave…Vernon Wells had his ninth multi-home run game career…The Blue Jays activated highly touted prospect Dustin McGowan from the disabled list on Tuesday, sending him to Single-A Dunedin. McGowan is making his way back after having Tommy John surgery a year ago…The Mariners out-hit the Jays 16-13 but left 14 men on base.