Brad Wilkerson exacted some revenge on his former team with a timely home run Tuesday night, exactly the type of big hit that's been so hard to come by for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Almost exactly a month after the Seattle Mariners released him, Wilkerson ripped a go-ahead solo shot in the fifth inning to give a dealing Dustin McGowan all the margin he would need for a 3-1 victory.

Vernon Wells, a game-time decision playing on a sore right ankle, also hit a solo shot while Scott Rolen drove in a big insurance run in the sixth as the Blue Jays (34-33) moved over .500 again with just their third win in 10 games.

"A little bit, I'm not going to lie," Wilkerson replied when asked if the homer felt particularly good. "I'll continue to come out and perform against this team. I'm just coming out here and trying to not let my emotions get in the way of helping this team win ballgames."

It was a sorely needed bounce-back effort for the Blue Jays after a soul-sucking 3-2, 10-inning loss Monday to the dreadful Mariners (23-42), who own the worst record in baseball and have lost eight of their past 10.

The Blue Jays came up empty despite loading the bases with no one out in the 10th in that one, the last of several chances to score they wasted en route to the hard-to-swallow defeat.

Driving the offence Tuesday before a crowd of 36,170 were the two home runs, just the team's seventh multi-homer performance of the season. It came in a crisply played game of two hours two minutes.

"A win cures a lot of ails," said manager John Gibbons. "Home runs are instant runs, that's a guarantee. It makes it tougher (without them), no question about it.

"But the game's changed, at least it has to this point of the season. We got guys who can hit them, sooner or later those numbers are going to rise."

Wells, sore from a running catch he made against the centre-field wall and an awkward step on first base Monday, led off the second by crushing a 2-0 offering from Carlos Silva (3-7) over the wall in centre for his seventh of the season.

McGowan (5-4), sporting prescription goggles to help him see better at night for the second time, gave that run back in the fifth on one of his few mistakes of the night, a Jeremy Reed solo shot to right.

But Wilkerson restored the lead in the bottom half by turning on a 3-2 pitch and blasting it to centre for his third homer of the year. Since joining the Blue Jays on May 9 immediately after the Mariners released him, Wilkerson is hitting .250 with three homers and 14 RBIs.

"That's past history, it happened and my goal is to help this team win ballgames," said Wilkerson. "I'm happy to be here in Toronto and happy to perform good for this team. ...

"I'm having more consistent at-bats and it comes from playing a lot more."

Rolen made it 3-1 an inning later when he followed Matt Stairs' double with a single to right.

Given a second lead, McGowan made it stand up for his third career complete game.

His key inning came in the sixth, when he stranded the potential tying run after Raul Ibanez reached third with one out. Jose Lopez struck out and Richie Sexson flew out to end threat.

"At that point we had just grabbed the lead and we keep them from trying the game right there," said McGowan. "Keep leading, score another run, it makes it a little easier."

McGowan gave up five hits and walked two while striking out seven and his improved vision may prompt him to employ the goggles full-time.

"I can't see at night because of the glares and stuff like that, because of the shadows when (the catcher) is giving signs it's so hard to see," he said. "I'm still getting a little used to pitching with them, they wiggle around a little bit when sweat gets on them."

Silva gave up three runs on nine hits to lose his seventh straight decision.

Gregg Zaun (right elbow) will not come off the disabled list Wednesday as expected but instead will head out for a brief two-game rehab assignment with triple-A Syracuse. He'll DH Wednesday, catch Thursday and if all is well, return Friday when the Jays start a three-game series with the visiting Cubs. Zaun's throwing is the only question mark. "It feels pretty good," he said. "I just don't know how much stamina I'm going to have." ... 2B Aaron Hill (concussion) is eligible to come off the DL Saturday but will be out for a while yet. GM J.P. Ricciardi said Hill must be symptom-free for seven days, he has five more to go, before he can start a rehab assignment. ... LF Shannon Stewart will miss at least three weeks with a Grade 2 sprain in his right ankle. ... Miguel Cairo's bases-loaded suicide squeeze Monday was the first such play in extra innings for a road team since Kansas City's Dave Nelson did it in the 15th inning of a 3-2 win over the Angels on July 28, 1976.