The Detroit Tigers continued their struggles against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon, completing the sweep for the Blue Jays (37-24) and giving the Tigers (31-25) their fifth consecutive loss.
The Blue Jays used two different three-run innings off of Justin Verlander to give them the 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
The Tigers got things going early, when Ian Kinsler roped a triple into left field, plating Nick Castellanos, then Torii Hunter came up and hit a fly ball just deep enough to bring home Kinsler to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
Dioner Navarro would pick up an RBI single, followed by Erik Kratz, who would rope a two-RBI single with one out to give to Blue Jays the lead in the very next half inning. Another three-run sixth inning would put the Blue Jays up three runs. Melky Cabrera would hit a homer for the second consecutive day and his tenth of the season in the ninth inning off of Phil Coke to push the Blue Jays lead to four late in the game.
Nick Castellanos went 3-for-4, including a double off Blue Jays start J.A. Happ and a run scored off Kinsler’s RBI triple. Thursday was Castellanos’ second career three-hit game with the first coming back on May 20 against the Cleveland Indians in a 11-10 loss.
Kinsler went 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and one run scored, after not recording a hit in three of his past four games. The second baseman brought his average back over the .300 mark to .301.
Justin Verlander looked like he was cruising right through his start until the fourth inning. Two three-run innings that included a few mistakes from Verlander hurt the Tigers in the end. The former American League MVP allowed six runs (five earned) off eight hits, including two home runs. The Blue Jays do lead the American League in homers this season.
Verlander also walked four and recorded four strikeouts on the day. His command has been erratic at times in 2014, as he has 57 strikeouts to 31 walks which is a career high K/BB rate for Verlander.
Happ went 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs off seven hits, and Jose Bautista and Juan Francisco led the way offensively for the Jays. Bautista was the only Jay to record multiple hits, going 2-for-5 with a run scored. Francisco went 1-for-4, including a two-run bomb off Verlander in the sixth inning.
The Tigers were able to get an Austin Jackson single followed by an Alex Avila walk with two outs, but nothing came out of the final rally for the Tigers.
The Tigers welcome Boston into town for a three-game series. Drew Smyly (2-4, 4.10 ERA) is the probable starter and is set to face Rubby De La Rosa (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who is making his second start of the 2014 season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. from Comerica Park