The last time the Detroit Tigers faced Toronto Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez, they mustered just two runs on three hits, striking out 12 times. They did however walk off the Jays in extra innings for a 3-2 victory back on June 7.
On Saturday, Sanchez opposed the Tigers again, who were hoping to snap a seven-game Toronto winning streak. Detroit gave the ball to Matt Boyd, making his sixth start of the season in place of injured Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris. Boyd’s ERA in his starts this season is well north of 7.00.
He turned in a good and hard-fought inning on Saturday however and the Tigers bullpen did the rest in preserving a 3-2 win for Detroit.
INNINGS 1 – 3
Sanchez struck out the side in the top half of the 1st. In the home half, A walk to Josh Donaldson and a single-E8 by Edwin Encarnacion put runners on second and third with one out for Toronto, but Boyd got the next two batters out to escape the jam.
It was ‘night and day’ for Sanchez between the 1st and 2nd. Detroit loaded the bases up with nobody out. Steven Moya then lined out to left to Ezequiel Carrera, who then threw home to get a not-so-fleet-footed Victor Martinez trying to tag from third.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 9, 2016
After a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia to re-load the bases, Andrew Romine was hit by a pitch, bringing home the first run of the game and the only run in that inning for the Tigers.
Toronto led off the bottom half with a single from Kevin Pillar but Boyd downed the next three in order to leave Pillar stranded.
Both teams went 1-2-3 in the 3rd inning.
(THRU 3: DET LEADS 1-0)
INNINGS 4 – 6
In the 4th inning for Detroit, after a one-out double from Justin Upton, it was Saltalamcchia coming in clutch with two outs singling to right center and allowing Upton to score, making it 2-0 Detroit.
Boyd retired the Jays in order in the 4th, making it nine in a row set down by Boyd at this point in the game. After the Tigers turned in their own 1-2-3 frame in the 5th, Toronto finally got to Boyd in the home half.
Junior Lake led it off with an infield single to third and advanced to second on an errant throw from Nick Castellanos. Two batters later with two outs, Carerra tripled deep to right field, allowing Lake to score easily and putting Toronto on the board, 2-1.
The 5th inning signaled the end for both starters Boyd and Sanchez. The Tigers got an encouraging spot start from Boyd: 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Sanchez was not as a crisp his second time facing the Tigers, but did his part limiting damage: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
Nothing doing for either team in the 6th. Toronto reliever Joe Biagini recorded a pair of strikeouts, while Tigers reliever Alex Wilson turned in his own scoreless frame.
(THRU 6: DET LEADS 2-1)
INNINGS 7 – 9
Biagini came out for his second inning of work in the 7th. The Tigers in the frame had one runner on second with one out and a runner on third with two outs but were unable to cash in. Reliever Bruce Rondon came on to pitch the 7th for Detroit and only allowed one hit, striking out one. Unfortunately the one hit was a one-out solo home run off the bat of former Tigers No. 1 prospect and 2013 Tigers Minor League POY Devon Travis, No. 6 on the season for him.
Devon Travis just tied it up with a jack to LF pic.twitter.com/yuug1Ioezo
— SingleShot ⚾⚽🏀🏐🎾⛳🎽📚 (@Singleshot25) July 9, 2016
In the 8th, former Tiger Jason Grilli came on to pitch for Toronto, making his second appearance in the series. With nobody on with one out, Victor Martinez drove one out of the yard deep to right center, No. 17 on the season for Victor and re-claiming the lead for the Tigers.
— Michigan Sports Guy (@SportingNewsMI) July 9, 2016
Justin Wilson relieved Rondon in the 8th inning, he last pitched in Thusday’s Game 1 of this series. Wilson allowed just a two-out single to Russell Martin but nothing came of it.
Blue Jays set-up man Drew Storen came on in the 9th and took the Tigers down 1-2-3, inducing a pair of ground ball outs. In the home half, Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez answered with his own 1-2-3 frame to notch his 24th save of the season and seal a 3-2 victory over the Jays.
(FINAL SCORE – DET 3, TOR 2)
ADDITIONAL GAME NOTES
- The solo homer in the 8th from Victor Martinez snapped an 0-for-10 skid. In eight games this month heading into Saturday’s contest, Martinez was hitting just 6-for-31 (.194 BA)
- Conversely, Nick Castellanos notched another base hit on Saturday, extending his modest hitting streak to five games and reaching base safely in 13 of his last 15 games.
UP NEXT: The same two teams wrap up this four-game series and the season series on Sunday, the final game before the All-Star break. The The Tigers give the ball back to Anibal Sanchez (5-9, 6.52 ERA), and he will oppose knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey (6-9, 4.10 ERA).