The visiting Detroit Tigers are out of the race for a postseason spot, but they can do some damage to the hopes of the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday in the middle game of a three-game series.
The Tigers ended a four-game losing streak Friday night with a 4-1 victory in 10 innings over the Blue Jays in the opener.
It was a devastating loss for the Blue Jays, who were returning home after a 3-6 road trip.
The Blue Jays wasted a strong eight-inning performance by left-hander Robbie Ray, who was charged with a wild pitch that allowed Detroit to tie the game in the eighth.
Harold Castro, Jonathan Schoop and Jeimer Candelario had RBI singles against Trevor Richards and Adam Cimber in the 10th.
Cimber and Richards were acquired in trades last month to bolster a sagging bullpen, but not much has changed.
This loss was not all on the bullpen. The Blue Jays grounded into four double plays and were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
This from a team that Tigers manager AJ Hinch described before the game as “potent and dangerous, they like to swing.”
“It just didn’t happen,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It happened for them; it didn’t happen for us. We didn’t execute, that’s the bottom line. We didn’t execute.”
The Tigers have something else to anticipate. They are still awaiting the 500th career home run by Miguel Cabrera, who was 0-for-5 on Friday.
The Blue Jays will start left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (11-6, 3.72 ERA) on Saturday. He has faced the Tigers twice in his career, going 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA. Both outings were in Detroit.
Right-hander Wily Peralta (3-2, 3.70) will start for the Tigers. He is 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in seven career games (two starts) against Toronto.
The Blue Jays had such optimism when they departed on their trip after a 9-2 homestand. Montoyo said the mood of the team is still good despite the disappointing trip.
“It’s not easy when you are losing games that you need to win, but the mood is fine,” Montoyo said. “We just didn’t hit. We know we need to win games. The other teams (in playoff contention) are winning games. We are just going through a tough stretch where we’re not having everything together. That’s usually what happens in losing streaks.”
The Tigers, who squandered an eight-run lead in losing 13-10 to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, got seven strong innings from Tyler Alexander on Friday.
“We needed that tonight,” Hinch said. “Our bullpen has been beat up a little bit and is exhausted.”
The go-ahead run in the 10th was driven in with a single by pinch hitter Harold Castro. Willi Castro, the runner placed at second to start the inning, scored.
“That was a big swing by Harold coming off the bench,” Hinch said. “We had targeted him to hit there depending on how the inning came about. He’s had some at-bats against Richards. Just a good job of not trying to do too much and giving our dugout a boost.”
“I was thinking about the changeup because he has pitched to me before with the changeup,” Castro said. “I was ready for the changeup with the first pitch. I hit it good.”
–Field Level Media