SEATTLE — Franklin Gutierrez delivered the biggest hit yet of his comeback with the Seattle Mariners.
Gutierrez, who missed all of last season with an arthritic condition in his back, homered with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday to give Seattle a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, a game the Mariners kept close with the aid of a triple play.
He jumped on an 0-2 pitch from Aaron Loup (2-5) and drove it over the wall in left-center for his third homer.
"I had two strikes at that moment and, obviously, you have to try to put the ball in play. I was ready for anything," said Gutierrez, who was called up June 24 after spending the first 48 games with Triple-A Tacoma. "He threw a fastball right there, put a good swing on it and it went out."
It was the second huge home run in a week for Gutierrez, who hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning Tuesday at Detroit to help the Mariners rally for an 11-9 victory.
"When I came to spring (training), I wasn't expecting anything," said Gutierrez, who also missed 106 games with other injuries in 2013. "I just wanted to know if I was able to play again. As soon as spring training went into the season, I knew that I was feeling better and better and better.
"So, here we are again, in the big leagues and doing the job."
Nelson Cruz brought the Mariners even at 5-5 in the seventh with his 25th home run, a two-run shot to left off Bo Schultz.
Joe Beimel (2-1), who struck out one in one relief inning, picked up the win for the Mariners.
With Toronto leading 4-3, the Mariners turned a triple play in the fourth inning. Ezequiel Carrera drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Kevin Pillar's single. Ryan Goings bounced out to first and Pillar was hung up between first and second, and Carrera stuck between third and home. Both runners ended up at third base and each was tagged out by catcher Mike Zunino.
"In that situation, you're told to just tag both guys and let the umpire tell you who's out," Zunino said, "even though Carrera should have been there, and he just sort of stumbled off the bag and I tried to hold the tag on to him."
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons wasn't sure why Carrera came off the bag, but said it was a huge play.
"Any time there are two guys on a base, the guy who was originally there is entitled to it, so Pillar is out and then Carrera comes off the bag ... why? I have no idea. So he's out, too," Gibbons said. "That was a big one. We had a chance for possibly a big inning right there, you know. We had the right guys starting to come up. But, I mean, that's how you lose."
Carrera and Josh Donaldson each had a solo homer for the Blue Jays, while Austin Jackson hit a solo shot for the Mariners.
The Blue Jays pieced together three runs in the second for a 4-1 lead against Mariners starter Taijuan Walker. Seattle cut the deficit to 4-3 in the third, but managed just two runs despite five hits and a walk.
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, who had not allowed more than two earned runs in his previous nine starts, was tagged for three runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Buehrle also walked Gutierrez with two outs in the third inning, his first walk since June 26 vs. Texas. He had faced 127 consecutive batters without issuing a walk.
RUBBER MATCHES: The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Mariners in the rubber match of a series and their first since April 19.
NO BASE FOR BAUTISTA: Toronto's Jose Bautista went 0-for-5, snapping his 36-game on-base streak against the Mariners. During that stretch, dating to July 2009, he is hitting .329 (42-for-124) with eight homers, nine doubles, 22 RBIs and 26 walks, with 31 runs scored. It also snapped his 16-game hitting streak at Safeco Field.
Blue Jays: LHP Robbie Ray (3-5, 2.72 ERA) has just one victory in six starts since June 15. He is coming off his shortest start of the season, when he allowed five runs - four earned - and five hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to Miami.
Mariners: Rookie LHP Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.25 ERA) is looking to regain the form that resulted in 20 consecutive scoreless innings, including back-to-back shutouts in June. He is 0-2 in his last three starts.