The Blue Jays snapped the Mariners six-game winning streak with a 10-1 victory Monday night at Toronto and may have found a leadoff hitter in the process.
Junior Felix, replacing the slumping Lloyd Moseby at the top of the batting order, scored three runs and drove in three more.With Toronto riding a three-game losing streak and losers of 11 of their last 13, Manager Jimy Williams moved Felix into the leadoff position.
Felix, making his fourth start since being called up from Triple-A Syracuse on May 2, is hitting 7-for-14 with four runs scored and five RBI.
"He plays like a veteran," batting coach Cito Gaston said. "He hits good from both sides, has some power and runs good.
"His speed makes a lot of things happen. Maybe he makes the pitcher think a little more about what he's going to throw, maybe he makes him throw a few more fastballs."
The 21-year-old Dominican singled in a run to trigger a four-run fourth inning, and tripled in a pair of runs to spark a three-run seventh inning.
Teammates Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez also drove in three runs to help back the pitching of Dave Stieb.
Steib, 3-0, scattered six hits over eight innings, walking two and striking out two. The right-hander lost his shutout bid in the seventh on Harold Reynolds' two-out RBI single.
Toronto pushed its lead to 6-0 with four runs in the fourth inning. With one out, Nelson Liriano tripled into the right-field corner and Rob Ducey walked. Felix singled Liriano home, and Gruber singled to load the bases and chase Dunne.
Steve Trout relieved and walked Fernandez to force in a run. McGriff then ripped a two-run single to right field.
The Blue Jays made it 7-0 in the fifth inning on Ducey's run-scoring fielder's choice.