A bases loaded single by John Hicks drove in a pair of runs to highlight a three run rally in the eighth inning, giving the Detroit Tigers a 7- 4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on Saturday. The victory was the Tigers’ fourth straight win and their eighth in the last ten games. The win also assures Detroit of its’ third straight series victory.
A pair of left handed pitchers faced off as Matt Boyd started for the Tigers against J.A. Happ for Toronto.
Jeimer Candelario opened the scoring with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning. The blast was his team leading ninth homer of the season. He has now reached base safely in 27 consecutive games.
The Jays pulled in front in the top of the third frame on a pair of doubles by Luke Maile and Yangervis Solarte, and a single by Justin Smoak. Maile broke out of an 0 for 20 slump with his two bagger. Boyd got Kendrys Morales to ground into a double play to end the inning with Toronto ahead 2- 1.
The Tigers tied the score at 2- 2 in the bottom of the third on a pair of doubles by Dixon Machado and Nick Castellanos. The score remained tied until the top of the fifth inning when Maile and Solarte struck again, this time with a pair of home runs on a couple of Boyd’s hanging breaking balls to put the Jays up 4- 2.
The Tigers evened the score again in the bottom of the fifth. Jose Iglesias singled, stole second, and scored on Machado’s second double of the game. Castellanos singled him home to tie the score at 4- 4. This marked the fourth consecutive multi hit game for Castellanos, who boosted his batting average to .342. That ranks second in the American league only behind Mookie Betts, who was just placed on the disabled list by the Red Sox.
Ian Happ was finished after five innings, allowing four runs on five hits, eight strikeouts and a pair of walks. He was relieved by John Axford, who now holds the honor of being the first visiting relief pitcher to ride the new bullpen cart at Comerica park. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning and was replaced by Seung Hwan Oh (aka “Stone Buddha”).
Miguel Cabrera scorched a one out single up the middle in the eighth inning and Victor Martinez followed with a ground rule double to left center field. The Tigers installed pinch runners for both veteran hitters, putting runners on second and third. The Jays walked Niko Goodrum to load the bases with one out. John Hicks singled up the middle to drive in two runs to put the Tigers up 6- 4. Jacoby Jones sacrificed Goodrum home to make it 7- 4.
Matt Boyd worked seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits, three strikeouts and two walks. With closer Shane Greene apparently not available after working consecutive games, Louis Coleman tossed a scoreless eighth inning to get the win, and Joe Jimenez was called in to close out the game. He retired the Blue Jays in the ninth to record his first career save.
The Tigers close out the series against Toronto tomorrow afternoon, when Michael Fulmer will take the mound against the Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
This poll is closed
Nick Castellanos (2 for 4, 2 RBI)
Dixon Machado (2 for 4, 2 R, 2 doubles, RBI)
Jeimer Candelario (1 for 4, HR, 27 game on base streak)
Joe Jimenez (first career save)