Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers took to the field against the Toronto Blue Jays and won 5-4 after a ninth inning rally by the rookies. Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was pulled from the game with two outs in the fifth inning after indicating something wrong in his back/side area which was later named to be a strain of the right pectoral muscle. Prior to his departure, Anibal struggled, giving up four runs on ten hits and walking one. Toronto got off to an early start, scoring a run after a two out walk to Jose Reyes and bloop single to Danny Valencia. Colby Rasmus struck out to limit the damage and end the inning. The Blue Jays weren’t done with Anibal yet, scoring another three runs in the second inning on a double by Munenori Kawasaki, a sacrifice bunt by Josh Thole, an RBI bunt single by Ryan Gonis that was challenged but upheld, and singles by Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista. Anibal didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning, and had given up a single when he left the game.
Blaine Hardy relieved the injured Sanchez, getting Goins to ground out. He returned to the mound to start the sixth and retired the side in order, but had trouble in the seventh, allowing back to back singles by Dioner Navarro and Valencia before striking out Rasmus and being replaced by Al Alburquerque who balked to advance his inherited runners, but ended the threat when Thole lined out to third.
Alburquerque returned to the mound for the eighth inning and retired the side in order, striking out two.
Joe Nathan had to hurry up and get warm when the Tigers took the lead in the ninth, and came in to face Jose Bautista who singled after getting ahead in the count. He got an out on a long, scary fly ball by Navarro and another on a Valencia swing and miss strike out. He then walked Rasmus and brought Juan Francisco, pinch hitting for Tolleson, who walked on four straight. The final out was recorded on a fantastic sliding catch by Davis in foul territory off the bat of Thole.
The Detroit Tigers’ offense was once again limping along and most of the batters looked lost at the plate for the most part, at least until the big ninth inning. Things looked promising early, with lead off batters reaching base in the first three innings, but nothing came of it until the third which started with a walk to Eugenio Suarez, followed by a double by Rajai Davis and a two RBI single by Ian Kinsler. The Tigers were shut down after that until the ninth inning. J.D. Martinez led off with a double, and then scored when Nick Castellanos hit a home run to tie the game. Eugenio Suarez followed that with a home run of his own to give the Tigers their first lead of the night.
The Detroit Tigers play the Toronto Blue Jays again tomorrow at 1:07pm.