TORONTO — On days he doesn’t start, Rajai Davis gives the Blue Jays speed off the bench late in the game.
Turns out that’s not all he offers.
Davis hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays handed the Seattle Mariners their 12th straight defeat, 7-5 on Thursday.
Brought on as a pinch-runner in the seventh after Eric Thames injured his ankle, Davis sparked the winning rally for the second time this series. He swiped two bases and scored on a sacrifice fly as Toronto won in 14 innings on Tuesday.
“He hasn’t been relegated to a bench role,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. “But he has the knack for some flair late in the game.”
A reserve early in his career with Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Davis said he doesn’t mind the role.
“That’s been happening lately,” he said. “It’s fun. I get ready to run later.”
The Mariners locked the door to their clubhouse after the game as manager Eric Wedge blasted his struggling team, telling them to toughen up.
“We’ve got to get tougher,” an exasperated Wedge said. “This game will eat you up if you don’t get tougher. They fought back today, but we’ve got to do a better job from inning to inning.
“A lot of these guys are getting eaten up right now,” Wedge added. “We can’t give in, we can’t keep pouting about it and we damn sure can’t quit. You’ve got to just keep going, and you’ve got to be tough enough when you’re doing that.”
Miguel Olivo erased a 5-1 deficit by hitting Seattle’s first grand slam of the season in the top of the eighth, but the Mariners couldn’t add on.
Olivo had no problem with his manager’s postgame address.
“We need to step up a little more,” Olivo said. “Everything he said is true.”
Reliever David Pauley (5-4) got two quick outs in the bottom half before Mike McCoy doubled to left and Yunel Escobar walked. Davis followed with a double over the head of Ichiro Suzuki in right, scoring both runners.
“It was just a good pitch to hit,” Davis said. “I was able to square it up and hit it where they ain’t.”
The Mariners have not won since beating the Athletics in Oakland on July 5. It’s Seattle longest losing streak since dropping 12 straight from Sept. 11-22, 2008.
“I don’t want to say it’s embarrassing, but I don’t even know how many in a row it is now,” Ryan said. “This is ridiculous.”
Jon Rauch (4-3) worked 1 2-3 innings for the victory as Toronto wrapped up a three-game sweep and won for the eighth time in 10 games.
The Mariners used a single, a walk and three stolen bases to put runners at second and third with two out in the third, but Ricky Romero caught Ryan looking at a curveball for the final out.
Seattle opened the scoring in the fifth. Chone Figgins walked and stole second and, after a walk to Jack Wilson, came home on Suzuki’s single to center.
Toronto promptly tied it in the bottom half when McCoy’s two-out double down the left field line scored Edwin Encarnacion from second base.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the sixth. Thames reached on a wild third strike and scored when Jose Bautista followed with a double off the wall in left-center.
Toronto made it 5-1 in the seventh thanks to an error by right-hander Doug Fister, who bobbled the ball on McCoy’s bunt, missing a chance to force out Corey Patterson at third.
“He’s probably one of our best athletes,” Wedge said. “He just tried to be too quick and it got away from him.”
That loaded the bases for Escobar, who lined an RBI single to center that ticked off the 6’8” Fister’s glove. After Thames followed by drawing a bases-loaded walk, Chris Ray came on to face Bautista and gave up a sacrifice fly.
But Romero and the Blue Jays couldn’t hold the lead. Suzuki and Ryan reached on infield singles in the eighth and Casey Janssen came on in relief after Adam Kennedy walked to load the bases. Olivo crushed Janssen’s second pitch to center for a grand slam, his 13th homer of the season and his second career slam.
Janssen left after giving up singles to Justin Smoak and Josh Bard, with Rauch coming on to get the final two outs.
Fister, who has not won since May 30 against Baltimore, allowed five runs, four earned, and five hits in six-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Romero gave up four runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings. He walked four and struck out nine.
NOTES: Seattle recalled RHP Josh Lueke from Triple-A Tacoma and optioned INF Kyle Seager to Triple-A. … Figgins made his first start in the outfield since joining Seattle before the 2010 season. Figgins started in left and Kennedy played third. … Bautista made his third straight start at DH after missing three games with a sore right ankle, but is expected to return to 3B on Friday. … With the temperature expected to exceed 100 degrees, the retractable roof at Rogers Centre remained closed. It was the first time the roof has remained closed because of heat.