Ashland's Gaviglio makes debut for Mariners
TORONTO — Former Ashland High star Sam Gaviglio made his major league debut on Thursday, pitching two innings of relief for the Seattle Mariners in a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Gaviglio, who also starred at Oregon State, was called up Wednesday from AAA Tacoma, setting the stage for his long-awaited big-league start.
The 26-year-old, who led Ashland to its only state baseball championship in 2008, was promoted by the Mariners to replace injured starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Gaviglio is expected to be used in long relief.
On Thursday, he had an impressive outing, save for one pitch that Justin Smoak hit for a solo home run in the seventh inning,
Gaviglio pitched two innings, allowed two hits and struck out four. He didn't walk anyone.
Gaviglio was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2011 draft following a three-year stint at Oregon State. He was traded to the Mariners following the 2014 season.
The right-hander started five games for the Tacoma Rainiers this season and pitched well, going 2-3 with a 3.31 ERA with 16 strikeouts and three walks in 32 2/3 innings.
On Thursday, Toronto ended Seattle's four-game winning streak.
Marco Estrada rebounded nicely from a rough first inning, Steve Pearce hit a three-run home run and Smoak finished with four RBIs.
After giving up two runs in the first, Estrada (2-2) held Seattle scoreless for the next five innings, helping Toronto win for the fourth time in five games.
"He shut us down tonight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Smoak went 3-for-3 with a walk against his former team. He had an RBI single in the first, walked in the fourth, singled home two runs in the fifth, then connected off Gaviglio.
"He's a little more aggressive early in the count, and he's laying off that breaking ball," manager John Gibbons said.
Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer but Seattle's offense came up empty after the first.