video thumbnail

SEA@TOR: Snider drives in another run with a single

TORONTO -- Travis Snider's new outlook and approach at the plate appears to be paying off in a big way for the young outfielder.

The 23-year-old has been on an tear since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on July 4. His success continued on Wednesday night with another impressive performance against the Mariners.

Snider matched his career high with five RBIs while Brandon Morrow had little difficulty taking care of his former team in an 11-6 victory over Seattle on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

"I think the mindset is different," said Snider, who went 2-for-4, including hitting his third home run of the season. "Just really being able to concentrate on one day at a time.

"It really is being able to release your performance -- whether it's good or bad -- the day before and being able to focus on the next day. ... Really getting the concentration level geared up for the game and allowing those things to take care of themselves on the field."

Snider was able to do just that against Seattle. During the series opener on Tuesday night he went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in his worst game since the break.

The Washington native could have been left frustrated with that performance, but instead he kept an even keel and came in the following day ready to go to work.

The fourth-year player spent time working in the batting cage with hitting coach Dwayne Murphy prior to his next game. The extra repetition paid off as Snider delivered a big three-run homer which proved to be the game winner.

Snider now has two home runs, nine doubles and 17 RBIs in 13 games since being recalled from Las Vegas. But just as he refused to get too low after Tuesday night's game, Snider says he won't get over confident after the recent success.

"It's just one day at a time," said Snider, who is batting .252 with 29 RBIs this season. "I'm really trying to focus on each day's task and continuing to build off the routine that I started down in Triple-A, staying consistent with my work and allowing things to take their course on the field."

Snider wasn't the only one producing for the Blue Jays on the muggy Wednesday night. Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind each added solo home runs, while every member of the starting nine reached base at least once.

The Blue Jays took control early with a four-run second inning which saw 10 batters go to the plate. They recorded just three hits during that frame, but drew four walks against erratic Mariners starter Jason Vargas.

Snider extended Toronto's lead to 5-0 the following inning with an RBI single. Vargas finished the third but did not come back out to pitch the following frame. He was charged with five runs on six hits and five walks.

"I felt like he was all over the plate," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "I felt like he was just missing, if that. The umpire had a tight zone, that's going to happen from time to time.

"They really made him work, a lot of foul balls. They squared the ball on him, pitches that he had up ... they're a good hitting ball club and they got to him today."

Seattle's pitching change on the mound did little to stop the momentum. Right-hander Jamey Wright entered in the fourth but proceeded to surrender a three-run homer to Snider.

Encarnacion followed in the sixth inning with his seventh homer of the year. The ball traveled so far it ricocheted off what was formerly known as the Windows Restaurant in straight away center field. Encarnacion is batting .472 (17-for-36) in his past nine games.

Lind also got into the action with a solo shot in the seventh for his 18th of the season to give Toronto its 11th run of the night.

That was more than enough run support for Morrow, who was facing the Mariners for the first time since the 2009 trade that sent closer Brandon League to Seattle. Morrow surrendered just three runs over seven innings against the team which selected him in the first round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

The 26-year-old allowed seven hits and three walks while striking out seven. He has now won five consecutive decisions and has posted a 2.85 ERA over that span of seven outings.

"Not as much as I thought I would," Morrow said when asked if this start took on a special meaning. "Last year, I think it would have been a bigger deal.

"There's really not too many guys that I've played with, maybe just a handful. Really nobody in the lineup besides Ichiro and [Franklin] Gutierrez that I played with, so not a whole lot of guys left."

The Blue Jays have won two consecutive games and are 4-2 since the All-Star break. Manager John Farrell thinks one of the biggest differences has been the performance of his club's offense, which has averaged just over six runs per game over that span.

"It has come together," Farrell said. "Once Travis returned, [Eric] Thames when he was brought back up, we've spoken many times of the balance, left-right-left combinations that we have and being able to stay away from one-sided dominance.

"It has got a chance to be a very balanced and potent lineup." Comments