SEATTLE MARINERS

Blue Jays spoil rookie Easton McGee’s no-hit bid, Mariners lose 1-0

Apr 29, 2023, 3:26 PM | Updated: 8:07 pm

Seattle Mariners...

Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier celebrate Toronto's win over the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

(Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

TORONTO (AP) — Easton McGee gave the Seattle Mariners a start to remember, but their struggling offense came up empty once again.

Daulton Varsho singled with the bases loaded in the 10th and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Seattle 1-0 for their sixth straight victory Saturday after McGee took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his first major league start.

Toronto Blue Jays 1, Seattle Mariners 0: Box score

“What an outing by Easton McGee,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “To do that against that kind of club was fantastic. To get 6 2/3 of no-hit ball out of him was way more than what we thought we were going to get today.”

Matt Chapman doubled off the center-field wall with two outs in the seventh for the only hit against McGee, who was called up from the minors before the game.

“It wasn’t the best pitch but I’m not going to nitpick and say I’m mad,” McGee said. “That was awesome. I’m very thankful.”

Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman matched the impressive rookie with a career-high 13 strikeouts in seven shutout innings.

“Gausman had it going on today,” Servais said.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled off Trevor Gott (0-2) to begin the bottom of the 10th, advancing automatic runner Bo Bichette to third.

Seattle intentionally walked Chapman to load the bases for Varsho, who broke an 0-for-18 slump by lining the first pitch over Teoscar Hernández in right field.

Seattle lost its fourth in a row and fell to 3-9 in one-run games. The Mariners are 0-5 in extra innings.

Seattle has been blanked twice in its past three games, losing 1-0 at Philadelphia on Thursday. The Mariners scored two runs Friday and lost 3-2.

“We’re playing fantastic baseball. It’s literally one facet of the game that we’re just not excelling in right now and that’s our offense,” catcher Tom Murphy said.

Toronto reliever Erik Swanson (1-0) struck out three in a hitless inning against his former team.

McGee was brought up from Triple-A Tacoma to start in place of struggling Chris Flexen, who was moved to the bullpen. It was the second big league outing for McGee, who made one relief appearance for Tampa Bay late last season.

Murphy said McGee was “incredible” against the Blue Jays.

“That was one of the most fun games I’ve been able to catch, just being out there and seeing a kid who probably had no idea he was going to be doing this a couple of days ago just go out and dominate a very, very good lineup,” Murphy said.

McGee retired his first 12 batters before walking Chapman to begin the fifth. The 6-foot-6 right-hander then set down the next eight Blue Jays hitters. He was lifted after Chapman’s double, and Matt Brash struck out Varsho to end the inning.

McGee threw only 64 pitches in 6 2/3 innings, striking out two.

“He had a really good sinker working,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “He was kind of an unfamiliar face, so maybe we were too aggressive early.”

There have been six no-hitters in Mariners history and the most recent one came in Toronto, by Canadian-born lefty James Paxton on May 8, 2018.

Gausman allowed six hits and walked one. His ERA dropped from 2.84 to 2.33.

Seattle swung and missed 28 times against Gausman, whose 54 strikeouts lead the majors.

“If I can pound the zone with my fastball, I feel like they’re expecting strikes and that’s why they swing at the split so much,” Gausman said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners star center fielder Julio Rodríguez left in the sixth because of a sore lower back. He was replaced by AJ Pollock.

“I don’t think it’s that serious,” Servais said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Servais said Rodríguez hurt his back sliding into second on a stolen base in the third.

Seattle is off Monday before opening a three-game series at Oakland on Tuesday.

COOKIN’ AT HOME

Toronto is 9-2 north of the border.

ROSTER MOVES

Seattle optioned RHP Diego Castillo to Triple-A to make room for McGee.

UP NEXT

Mariners LHP Marco Gonzales (2-0, 3.32 ERA) starts Sunday’s series finale against RHP Chris Bassitt (3-2, 4.82).

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