TORONTO (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion reached two offensive milestones with one mighty swing.
Encarnacion topped the 100-RBI plateau with his 40th home run, Adam Lind also connected and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Seattle Mariners 8-3 Thursday night to send Felix Hernandez to his third straight defeat.
Encarnacion, who has 102 RBIs, said he was more pleased at passing the century mark than at reaching 40 home runs.
“I have eight years playing in the big leagues, I never got to 80,” Encarnacion said. “It’s not easy to get to 100 RBIs. Not many people make it to 100 RBIs so that’s the bigger thing for me.”
Encarnacion hit a three-run shot in a five-run fourth inning as the Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep.
Even Hernandez was impressed after the Toronto slugger sent a changeup into the second deck in left.
“Oh, man, that was long,” Hernandez said. “That’s a pretty good one right there. It was a good pitch, it was down.”
Encarnacion’s 40th homer moved him one behind Texas slugger Josh Hamilton, who leads the major leagues with 41.
“This is a very good right-handed power hitter,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Encarnacion, “and he’s having one heck of a year for us.”
Even after working on his power stroke last winter, Encarnacion said he “never thought” he could hit 40 home runs.
“That was part of my work in the offseason,” he said. “I want to continue to do the same. I want to come back next year and try to hit 40 again.”
Lind’s homer was a two-run shot to right in the first.
Jeff Mathis hit an RBI single off Carter Capps in the fifth for an 8-2 lead, and Dustin Ackley hit a solo homer off Henderson Alvarez in the seventh.
Mathis matched a career high with the third fourth-hit game of his big league career, his second this season.
Alvarez (9-12) allowed three runs in seven innings to beat his childhood idol. Both pitchers were born in Valencia, Venezuela.
“(Hernandez) is the guy that I always follow,” Alvarez said through a translator. “I’m always looking forward to see what he’s doing so he can accomplish the same thing.”
Alvarez, who walked three and struck out two, has won back-to-back starts for the first time since July 22-28.
Brad Lincoln and Aaron Loup each worked one inning of relief as Toronto avoided a sixth straight defeat to Seattle.
Hernandez (13-8) allowed a season-high seven runs and 10 hits in four innings, struck out four and walked one. He has a 9.00 in his last three outings, losing three consecutive starts for the first time since Sept. 12-24 last year.
“That was terrible right there,” a frustrated Hernandez said.
Hernandez matched a season-high by giving up 11 hits to Oakland in his last start, and complained afterward that none of his pitches had been working.
“Today, nothing was working either,” he said after being beaten around by the Blue Jays.
Hernandez is 2-3 since throwing the major leagues’ 23rd perfect game against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15.
“I have to do something,” he said. “The last three starts have been disappointing.”
Trailing 2-0 on Lind’s homer, the Mariners tied it in the second on Carlos Peguero’s two-run double over left fielder Rajai Davis.
Brett Lawrie’s two-run single put the Blue Jays ahead in the fourth, Colby Rasmus walked and Encarnacion followed with his three-run drive.
“That was a decent pitch and he hit it a mile,” Mariners catcher John Jaso said.
NOTES: When Encarnacion’s bat shattered on his groundout in the first inning, the barrel flew into the Blue Jays dugout and struck pitching coach Bruce Walton on a forearm. Walton, who sustained a bruise, was taken for precautionary X-rays. “Fortunately he was able to get his arms up in front of his face,” Farrell said. “And that’s where it was heading: right up into his head.” Bullpen coach Pete Walker replaced Walton on Toronto’s bench. … Davis was nearly thrown out after making a big turn around first on his infield single in the third and was later thrown out at third after going too far round the bag on Mathis’ bunt single. … Blue Jays RHP Chad Jenkins is expected to head to Instructional League next week to get work as a starter, allowing him to be stretched out enough for a major league start before the end of the season. … Seattle INF Carlos Triunfel doubled in the ninth, his first career hit.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.