Toronto Blue Jays outlast Detroit Tigers in 19 innings


There are games that are memorable and stick with you forever. Then there are the games that you have to immediately repress from your memory. Please read this game recap and then repress this memory away.

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There has seemingly been a dark cloud hanging over the Detroit Tigers since the All-Star break, and perhaps the darkest cloud formed prior to this game when it was announced that both Anibal Sanchez and Joakim Soria would be placed on the 15-day disabled list. The run of bad luck and lousy play continued into the game where the Tigers could not hold a five-run lead (built with three unearned runs), topped off by another blown save by someone not named Joe Nathan and ended up losing in 19 innings, 6-5 to drop their weekend series to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Starter Rick Porcello was the losing pitcher, after coming into the 17th inning. This followed extra innings pitched by Blaine Hardy, Pat McCoy, and Nathan (who was originally not available to pitch).  It would be tough to blame this loss on the Tigers’ bullpen when their offense couldn’t score for 14 innings after the fourth inning and tallied just two earned runs on the day.

This marathon game had its share of scares and oddities along the way. First, in the bottom of the third inning, Brad Ausmus was tossed for arguing balls and strikes, his third ejection of the season.

David Price, who had been cruising through six innings gave up just his third hit of the game when Danny Valencia hit Price on the right thigh and the ball deflected into right field for a double. The lefty threw a couple pitches and indicated he was fine, but the first pitch to Dioner Navarro was smacked for a two-run home run to left field to make it 5-2.

Price recorded the final out in the sixth, but did not look right heading into the seventh inning when he walked the first batter and allowed a single to the next before departing. Phil Coke came on relief and retired the first batter, but allowed a pair of RBI singles to Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera to make it 5-4. Al Alburquerque came in and went to 3-0 on Jose Bautista, but came back to strike him out and Alex Avila threw out Reyes on a botched stolen base attempt to end the inning.

Al-Al went back out there in the eighth inning and got behind every batter 3-0 before striking out the side. With Nathan unavailable (in the 9th) because of sucking overwork, Joba Chamberlain was called on to close out Toronto in the ninth inning, but failed to get the job done, allowing the tying run to score off the bat of Reyes.

The bulk of the Tigers’ offense came with two outs in the first inning off  Mark Buehrle when Miguel Cabrera lined a base hit into center field on the first pitch. Victor Martinez appeared to ground into a force play, but Jose Reyes dropped the ball and allowed V-Mart to reach safely by a step. Torii Hunter singled and J.D. Martinez lined a base hit to bring in two runs. Nick Castellanos singled to bring in the third run. They added single runs in the third and the fourth innings.

The Tigers will conclude their road trip by playing two games in Pittsburgh before the series shifts to Detroit for two more games. Tomorrow’s first pitch at PNC Park is slated for 7:05 with Justin Verlander (10-10, 4.57) taking on Jeff Locke (3-3, 3.78).