Bases-loaded walk costs Jays rub­ber match with Tigers

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DAVE HOGG

DE­TROIT — The De­troit Tigers’ top play­ers cre­ated a win­ning rally with­out do­ing much of any­thing.

Alex Avila, Justin Up­ton and Miguel Cabr­era drew walks in the 11th in­ning, the last with the bases loaded, giv­ing De­troit a 6-5 Amer­i­can League base­ball win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

“That’s how ex­pe­ri­ence wins games,” Tigers man­ager Brad Aus­mus said. “Young guys are go­ing up there think­ing about a walk-off homer and swing­ing as soon as they see the white of the ball. Vet­er­ans are pa­tient enough to wait for what the pitcher gives them.”

Avila was walked by Jeff Be­liv­eau (1-1) lead­ing off the 11th and ad­vanced on Jose Igle­sias’ sac­ri­fice.

“It’s tempt­ing to try to do too much in ex­tra in­nings, but we had the right guys up there,” Avila said. “You have to be dis­ci­plined enough to wait for a pitch down the mid­dle be­fore you try to make some­thing hap­pen.”

Lu­cas Har­rell re­lieved, Ian Kinsler lined out and third base­man Josh Donaldson fielded Ni­cholas Castel­lanos’ grounder down the line and then bob­bled the ball while pulling it out of his glove for an er­ror that put run­ners at the corners.

Up­ton walked on a 3-1 pitch, load­ing the bases, and Har­rell fell be­hind Cabr­era 3-1. The two-time AL MVP took a called strike, fouled off a pitch, then took a fast­ball out­side for ball four, giv­ing De­troit two wins in three games fol­low­ing the all-star break.

“The game was there for the tak­ing, but we didn’t play good enough ball,” Blue Jays man­ager John Gib­bons said. “We got the lead early and gave it right back.”

War­wick Saupold (2-1) got the win with a score­less 11th. Tigers starter Ani­bal Sanchez al­lowed five runs and nine hits in six in­nings, in­clud­ing homers by Justin Smoak, Kendrys Mo­rales and Jose Bautista. Smoak hit a two-run homer in the first. Mo­rales home­red two pitches later.

Up­ton’s RBI dou­ble and sac­ri­fice flies by Cabr­era and J.D. Martinez tied the score in the bot­tom half against Marco Estrada, who gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in 3 2/3 in­nings.

Con­sec­u­tive dou­bles by Alex Pres­ley and James McCann put the Tigers ahead 4-3 in the fourth, the first drop­ping be­tween Kevin Pil­lar in cen­tre and Bautista in right, the lat­ter glanc­ing off the tip of Eze­quiel Car­rera’s glove at the left-field fence.

Bautista’s two-run homer put Toronto ahead 5-4 in the fifth, but Martinez tied the score when he home­red on Danny Barnes’ first pitch of the eighth. A video re­view up­held the call that ball cleared the fence and bounced back to the field af­ter it hit a rail­ing. UP NEXT: Blue Jays: RHP Mar­cus Stro­man (9-5, 3.28) will face Bos­ton LHP Ed­uardo Ro­driguez (4-2, 3.54) on Mon­day night in the first game of a four-game se­ries at Fen­way Park.


Toronto Blue Jays re­lief pitcher Lu­cas Har­rell, fore­ground, walks off the field as the Tigers cel­e­brate their win in the 11th in­ning Sun­day.

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