The Detroit Tigers lost their 11th consecutive game on Saturday, this one a 4-3 loss delivered via a walk-off home run from Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak. Smoak’s solo blast to lead off the bottom of the ninth capped another comeback win for the Jays, who were down 3-0 earlier in the game.
Like so many games in this current losing streak, the Tigers actually had an early lead. They went up 1-0 on John Hicks’ solo home run in the top of the second, then padded their lead on a two-out, two-run homer from Nicholas Castellanos in the third. That would be all the offense the Tigers could muster, though. They had chances, with at least one baserunner in all but one inning of the game, but went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position as a team.
Meanwhile, Matthew Boyd started brightly. He allowed just two walks through his first four innings, reaching as high as 92 miles per hour with his fastball. Things unraveled for him in the fifth, though, as he allowed three runs. Kevin Pillar doubled to lead off the inning, and Aledmys Diaz singled with one out. Devon Travis grounded out, scoring Pillar, and Randal Grichuk delivered the big blow, with a two-out, two-run homer to tie the game.
From there, both teams went scoreless until Smoak’s homer in the ninth. The Tigers threatened, but could not score, while the Blue Jays also squandered a golden opportunity in the eighth. They put two runners on base with one out against Alex Wilson, who left the game with a foot injury, but Leonys Martin threw out Travis at the plate to preserve the tie. Joe Jimenez struck out Kendrys Morales to strand both baserunners in the eighth, but also gave up the game-winning homer in the ninth.