7:07 PM ET, September 22, 2010
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
TORONTO -- In a difficult season for Seattle, Jose Lopez has struggled to match the career-high 25 home runs he hit last year. For one night at least, he was back to his old self.Lopez hit three home runs, Michael Saunders added a two-run drive and the Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Wednesday night."Now I feel like the same guy as last year," a smiling Lopez said.Lopez hit a solo shot off starter Kyle Drabek in the third inning, led off the sixth with a drive against reliever Brian Tallet and connected off reliever Shawn Camp in the eighth. It was his first multihomer game of the season and fourth of his career."When I hit the third one, I touched first base and felt like 'Yes!" Lopez said, raising one fist in the air. "I felt really happy."Lopez, who has 10 home runs, hit all three homers to left field."I think [Lopez] showed me up a little bit," Saunders joked. "He's the hero tonight."It's nice to see," Saunders added. "Hopefully this gets him rolling and he can finish the season strong because he's really not a 10-home run guy, he's normally putting up more than that."Mariners ace Felix Hernandez had one quibble with Lopez's power surge: it happened one day before his next start. Hernandez's message to Lopez? Save some for tomorrow."I said no, if I get it tonight, I get it tonight," Lopez replied.It was the 11th three-homer performance in Mariners history. Mike Cameron had Seattle's only four-homer game, doing it May 2, 2002, against the Chicago White Sox.Saunders added a two-run shot in the second as the Mariners won for the third time in five games after a seven-game losing streak.Vernon Wells had a solo shot, Toronto's major league-best 233rd. The Blue Jays hit a club-record 244 homers in 2000.Seattle's starting lineup had combined for only 38 home runs, fewer than the major league-high 49 of Toronto's Jose Bautista, but it was the Mariners who came out on top in this one."[Lopez] was on today," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "I think we certainly made some mistakes today, but he sure let us know we made them."Seattle, which has scored a major league-low 481 runs, improved to 37-19 when scoring four runs or more.David Pauley (3-8) came in winless in five starts but earned his first victory since Aug. 18 by allowing two runs and six hits in six innings."Tonight, everybody was clicking," Pauley said. "Lopez had a phenomenal game today. It's fun to watch games like that."Pauley walked two and matched a season-high with five strikeouts.
Notes: Three home runs in a game
* He's the second Mariners third baseman with a three-homer game, joining Jim Presley (1986).
* There have been 13 three-homer games in MLB this season, the most since there were 13 in 2004. The last year with more was 2002, with 14.
* There have been three third basemen to hit 3 home runs in a game this season (Aramis Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Lopez). The only season with more three-homer games by third basemen in the modern era (since 1900) is 1987 with four (Tim Wallach, Mike Schmidt, Brook Jacoby and Darnell Coles). Note: Alex Rodriguez also had a three-homer game, but he did it as the DH.
The Mariners promoted four players from Triple-A Tacoma, recalling INF Mike Carp, OF Greg Halman and RHP Anthony Varvaro and purchasing the contract of INF Matt Mangini. ... Seattle DH Russell Branyan and OF Franklin Gutierrez were both unavailable because of flu-like symptoms. ... Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield and bench coach Nick Leyva said they will apply to replace the departing Gaston as Toronto manager. Hitting coach Dwayne Murphy said he is not interested in the job.
Regular Season Series
|2nd||M Saunders homered to center (417 feet), R Langerhans scored.||2||0|
|3rd||J Lopez homered to left (364 feet).||3||0|
|4th||V Wells homered to left (350 feet).||3||1|
|4th||E Encarnacion grounded out to first, L Overbay scored, A Lind to third, J Buck to second.||3||2|
|6th||J Lopez homered to left (389 feet).||4||2|
|8th||J Lopez homered to left (403 feet), I Suzuki scored.||6||2|
|9th||J Buck grounded out to third, A Hill scored.||6||3|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON|
|Attendance||12,302 (25% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||68 degrees, clear|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Marvin Hudson|
Jose Lopez, SEA: 3-4, 3 HR (10), 4 RBI: Lopez became the first Mariner with a 3-HR game since Mike Cameron in 2002 as the Mariners beat the Blue Jays 6-3 on Wednesday. Lopez was aggressive, hitting all three home runs on the first or second pitch of each plate appearance. In all, Lopez saw just 10 pitches on Wednesday. Lopez's aggressiveness at the plate this year is a reason he has struggled with an OPS barely over .600. While all three of Lopez's home runs Wednesday came on pitches in the zone, the Mariners third baseman has struggled to swing at the right pitches this season. He ranks 15th in swing pct and 23rd in chase pct, but just 40th in swing pct on pitches in the strike zone.[+]
There have been 13 three-homer games this season, tied for 6th-most all-time.[+]
Most 3-HR games in season
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