Tigers homer twice in ninth against Janssen to beat Blue Jays 5-4
Friday, Aug 08, 2014 04:00 am
TORONTO - Casey Janssen was hit hard. And the result hit the Toronto Blue Jays even harder.
Sent into the game in the ninth inning to protect a 4-2 lead, the Blue Jays closer allowed home runs to Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez as the Detroit Tigers pulled out a 5-4 victory on Friday.
It was Toronto's sixth loss in their past seven games as the club scrambles to remain in both the American League East and the American League wild-card races.
"They got me tonight," said Janssen. "It stings. I feel bad, I feel bad for the boys. We're in a race, those things burn a little bit more."
The Blue Jays opened up a 4-0 lead after two innings but could not add any more runs despite outhitting the Tigers 13-9 on the night.
Janssen (3-1) was trying for his 19th save when he came in for the ninth. He allowed a leadoff double to J.D. Martinez, the Tigers left fielder who had a bad game in the field.
A groundout to first by Alex Avila moved the runner to third and Castellanos tied the game with his seventh homer of the season.
"Castellanos is an aggressive guy early, I wanted to throw a curveball in there," said Janssen. "It wasn't terrible and he blasted it out of there."
Suarez put the Tigers ahead with his fourth homer of the season.
"It was down and away, my bread and butter, and he blasted the thing out to centre," said Janssen. "I tip my cap to them."
After Ian Kinsler hit a two-out double, the fourth extra-base hit of the inning allowed by Janssen, left-hander Aaron Loup entered to finish the inning.
"It was definitely a big adrenalin boost," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We've been scuffling to score runs. I'm hoping we can look back at this as a bit of a trigger point."
"Casey's been so good this year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They just came out swinging and got to him pretty quick there. That's a tough one, no question about it, that's a tough one."
The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the home ninth before Joe Nathan was able to nail down his 24th save of the season.
Jose Bautista led off with a single. Colby Rasmus and pinch-hitter Juan Francisco walked with two out before Josh Thole fouled out to left field to end the game.
"We came back, we're still looking for that little magic," said Gibbons said. "We haven't been able to get that this year at home."
Right-handed reliever Al Alburquerque (3-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings to get the win.
The Blue Jays wasted a solid outing from knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey. The right-hander allowed five hits, four walks and two runs in six innings. He struck out six before Dustin McGowan took over in the seventh.
"They're all tough," said Dickey. "Any time you lose a game it's tough. You feel for Casey, I've been out there and done the same thing in an inning, and it hurts. We're teammates and we're going to pick each other up. I can certainly empathize with his pain. It's no time to pout, that's for sure.
"You have to start thinking outside of that line of 'this is a must win or does it hurt that much more?' They all hurt. From here on in, it all matters. It mattered back in May when we were losing a game or winning a game. It matters, it always matters."
Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez left the game with a runner at first and two out in the fifth with a right pectoralis strain after he threw over to first to hold Munenori Kawasaki. Left-hander Blaine Hardy replaced Sanchez.
Sanchez, who will return to Detroit for an MRI on Saturday, allowed 10 hits, one walk and four runs while striking out three in 4 2/3 innings.
Janssen, who was one of the players who expressed disappointment that the team did not make additions at the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers, admitted that he has not been at his best since the All-Star Game break. He fell ill during the break.
"Sometimes things can streaky," said Janssen. "Right now, it doesn't seem like it's streaking in the right direction for me. But I have to just continue to work, continue to execute pitches and maybe at times mix up what I've been doing. The hitters might be adjusting to me so now it's my turn to adjust to them. I'm not quitting and we have a long ways to go."
The Blue Jays (61-56) scored once in the first. Bautista walked, took third on a single by Dioner Navarro and a scored on a single by Danny Valencia.
Toronto added three runs in the second. Kawasaki led off with a double on a fly to left centre that popped in and out of the glove of left fielder J.D. Martinez.
Thole sacrificed Kawasaki to third. Ryan Goins put down a squeeze bunt to score Kawasaki and was given credit for a single when he reached first safely - a call that withstood a Detroit challenge.
Jose Reyes singled to right. Melky Cabrera singled to left to score Goins with Reyes taking third on an error by Martinez. Bautista hit an RBI single to make the score 4-0.
The Tigers (63-50) cut the lead in half in the third. Dickey walked the No. 9 hitter, Suarez, and former Blue Jay Rajai Davis followed with his second double of the game. Kinsler scored both runners with a single.
Left-hander Brett Cecil took over from McGowan in the eighth inning and the Tigers went down in order for the third inning in a row.
NOTES: Attendance at Rogers Centre was announced as 36,237. ... LF Melky Cabrera (right elbow) was back in the Blue Jays lineup on Friday. He left Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles after he was hit by a pitch in the first inning. … DH Adam Lind (right foot fracture) was given the day off on Friday after he experienced a tight back in going 2-for-2 on Thursday in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment in the Gulf Coast League. He is still expected to rejoin the Blue Jays next week. … RHP Marcus Stroman (7-3, 3.49 earned-run average) will start the second game of the series on Saturday for the Blue Jays against RHP Max Scherzer (13-4, 3.24 ERA).