Tigers recover from blown save to beat Blue Jays 3-2
By IAN HARRISON
TORONTO — After a rotten finish to June, the Detroit Tigers have started July with a modest winning streak.
Jose Iglesias hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Tigers recovered from a blown save in the ninth to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Monday, Detroit’s second straight victory following a season-long 11-game losing streak.
Right-hander Joe Jimenez (4-1) got the win despite giving up the tying run in the ninth.
“It’s huge for us,” Jimenez said of the victory. “A new month, a new us.”
With his team leading 2-1 after eight innings, Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire called on Jimenez because regular closer Shane Greene (shoulder) had been placed on the 10-day disabled list before the game. Jimenez loaded the bases with two outs and walked pinch-hitter Justin Smoak on a 3-2 pitch to force in the tying run.
“When you come in as a closer, you have to make them swing the bat,” Gardenhire said. “In those situations, walks will kill you.”
Detroit answered immediately in the 10th. Niko Goodrum hit a one-out triple off Seunghwan Oh (4-3) and scored the winning run when Iglesias followed with a fly ball to right.
After Buck Farmer gave up a leadoff single in the 10th, Blaine Hardy finished for his first career save.
“That losing streak was a little bit tough on this clubhouse,” Hardy said.
“Now that we have two wins in a row, I think we’re back to where we need to be.”
Tigers right-hander Mike Fiers pitched a season-high eight innings, but didn’t figure in the decision and remains winless in five starts. An efficient Fiers threw just 89 pitches, including 67 strikes. The right-hander allowed one run and three hits. He walked one and struck out five.
“It was a great performance,” Gardenhire said.
Nick Castellanos scored two runs and Jeimer Candelario had three hits for the Tigers, who won the season series against the Blue Jays for the first time since 2013. Detroit took four of seven from Toronto this season.
Making his second career start, Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki struck out leadoff man Mikie Mahtook, then allowed four straight singles, including a run-scoring hit by Victor Martinez, who delivered his first RBI single since June 15.
Borucki recovered to retire the next 13 batters in order, a streak that ended when Maktook reached on an infield single to begin the sixth. Maktook was forced at second on Castellanos’ fielder’s choice and Candelario singled Castellanos to third before John Hicks delivered the tiebreaking grounder.
“He looked like he was in control, didn’t ever panic,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Borucki. “Another impressive outing.”
Borucki allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.
“He’s filthy, to tell you the truth,” an admiring Gardenhire said. “A nice looking arm. He really knows how to pitch.”
For a third straight day, the roof at Rogers Centre remained closed because of high heat and humidity.
SIX FOR SIX
Tigers starting pitchers have worked at least six innings in six straight games, the team’s longest such streak since July 28 to Aug. 2, 2017.
Martinez’s single in the first was No. 2,100 for his career, the eighth-most by a Venezuelan-born player.
WHO’S ON THIRD?
Toronto’s Kendrys Morales started at first base but moved to third in the 10th, his first career appearance there. Toronto has used C Russell Martin at third base and shortstop this season but Martin was unavailable Monday because of a sore knee.
Tigers: Detroit put Greene and OF Leonys Martin (left hamstring) on the 10-day DL. The Tigers recalled Mahtook from Triple-A Toledo and activated LHP Daniel Stumpf off the DL.