SEATTLE -AP- The Seattle Mariners were fighting to stay close in the playoff race and the Toronto Blue Jays were looking to extend a slim lead in their place atop the wild-card standings. In the end, the Blue Jays simply ran out of gas in a war of attrition on Wednesday afternoon. Felix Hernandez (11-6) gutted through seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays, but the real stars were Seattle's relievers, who combined for six innings and allowed four hits while striking out six.
Cano's sacrifice fly lifts Seattle past Toronto 2-1 in 12
The Blue Jays were forced to use starter R.A. Dickey in the 12th inning after exhausting their bullpen. That's when things began to unravel for Toronto. A key throwing error by third baseman Josh Donaldson put Guillermo Heredia on second base as the potential winning run to lead off the 12th. He advanced to third when Donaldson dropped a throw from first baseman Ryan Goins on a Ben Gamel sacrifice bunt. Robinson Cano then lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Heredia and give the Mariners the 2-1 victory. The Mariners squandered an opportunity to win in the 11th when they loaded the bases with two outs only for utility infielder Mike Freeman to ground out weakly to shortstop. It was the first time since the third inning that the Mariners had advanced a runner past first base. It looked as though the Mariners would pull off a nine-inning victory when closer Edwin Diaz entered the game in the eighth with one on and two outs, temporarily preserving a one-run lead by striking out Donaldson. Jason Grilli kept the deficit at just one for Toronto, coming in with one on and one out in the bottom of the eighth and striking out Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. With the pressure on, attempting a four-out save, Diaz allowed a game-tying home run in the ninth to Jose Bautista. It was the first hit against the Mariners since the fourth inning. Toronto closer Roberto Osuna entered the game with two outs in the in the ninth after Leonys Martin singled off reliever Joe Biagini. Martin stole second and third base before pinch-hitter Dae-Ho Lee struck out to end the threat. Osuna ended up facing four batters and struck them all out. Mariners reliever Evan Scribner allowed a leadoff double to Michael Saunders in the 10th. Ryan Goins sacrificed pinch-runner Melvin Upton Jr. to third, but he went no farther after Freeman robbed Kevin Pillar of a hit with an incredible diving catch at shortstop. Devon Travis then struck out, keeping the score knotted at 1. Nick Vincent entered a two-on, no-out jam in the bottom of the 10th but escaped by striking out Bautista and getting Martin to ground into a double play. Seattle (80-71) is struggling to stay in the race for a American League wild-card spot, but their offense simply couldn't find a way to score more than one run against Aaron Sanchez and a strong effort from the Toronto bullpen. Toronto falls to (83-69), leaving the Blue Jays a game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, who currently hold the second wild-card spot. Sanchez had great stuff but little command, walking three and striking out five while allowing one run in six innings. The Mariners got the scoring started in the top of the third when catcher Jesus Sucre lined an opposite-field double down the right field line. Norichika Aoki hit a soft liner just past the outstretched glove of Travis to score Sucre from second.

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