Tigers edge Blue Jays ending seven-game home win streak

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The Canadian Press
7/2/2013 11:08:12 PM
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TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays were counting on Chien-Ming Wang to come through with a bounce-back performance after getting shelled in his previous start.

For the second straight game, he didn't make it out of the second inning and this time it cost him his spot on the big-league roster.

Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer in Detroit's six-run second inning and the Tigers scratched out a tie-breaking run in the eighth for a 7-6 win over Toronto on Tuesday night, ending the Blue Jays' seven-game home winning streak.

Toronto designated Wang for assignment after the game. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Wang simply couldn't get the outs when he needed them.

"That takes its toll on you," Gibbons said. "For whatever reason the struggles are, I'm not sure. But we can't afford it. We've got to bring up another arm to cover us tomorrow, that's for sure."

The Blue Jays announced later in the evening that right-hander Todd Redmond would be called up from triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday.

Wang was signed by Toronto on June 11 after opting out of his minor-league deal with the New York Yankees. He turned in three decent starts before recording just five outs in a 7-4 loss to Boston on June 27.

The Blue Jays' bullpen stepped up again after Wang's early exit with Juan Perez, Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil providing 5 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Neil Wagner (1-3) came on in the eighth and gave up a leadoff hit to Omar Infante, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then to third on a flyout to deep centre field.

Torii Hunter hit a comebacker that struck Wagner and bounced to the left side of the infield. Shortstop Jose Reyes made a nice play to barehand the ball and throw it to first but it wasn't in time to catch the speedy Hunter, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

Al Alburquerque (1-1) threw one inning of relief for the win and Joaquin Benoit worked the ninth for his sixth save as Detroit (44-38) ended its three-game losing skid. Toronto (41-42) fell below the .500 mark with the loss.

Wang said he would likely take a day or two to decide whether to accept his assignment. He could have a chance to return later in the season if he reports to the Bisons or he could elect to become a free agent.

The soft-spoken veteran offered a few pithy replies when asked for his thoughts after the game.

"I'm very disappointed," he said.

Wang allowed eight hits, six earned runs, one walk and had one strikeout. Toronto catcher Josh Thole said Wang's sinker started to flatten out in the second inning.

"It just runs, it's still moving but it just runs," Thole said. "There's not much depth to it and when there's not much depth to it, those are the balls that they got on to."

Hunter had four of Detroit's 12 hits. The Tigers have won seven of their last nine games against the Blue Jays dating back to last season.

Detroit starter Doug Fister recovered after giving up six earned runs over the first two innings. He allowed seven hits and one walk over six innings while striking out four.

"He settled down and had a couple of quick innings there, which helped," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He ended up doing a heck of a job. He could have caved in a little bit but he didn't cave in. That was huge for us."

The Blue Jays attacked Fister from the outset, with Reyes leading off with a single and moving to second when Rajai Davis was hit by a pitch.

Jose Bautista followed with a sharp single that scored Reyes. After advancing on a passed ball, both runners scored when Colby Rasmus sliced a ground-rule double that bounced out of play near the left-field foul pole.

Rasmus advanced to third when Maicer Izturis grounded out and scored when Thole legged out an infield single. Fister capped the 38-pitch inning when Munenori Kawasaki grounded out.

In the second, Detroit's Jhonny Peralta and Andy Dirks singled before Infante hit an RBI double. Alex Avila cashed in two more runs with another double to make it a one-run game.

Hunter's one-out single set the stage for Cabrera, who delivered a rainbow blast to right-centre field that gave Detroit a 6-4 lead. It was his 26th home run of the season.

Toronto tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Bautista drew a two-out walk and scored when Rasmus hit a blast over the centre-field wall for his 15th homer of the year.

Cabrera displayed his defensive skills in the fourth inning by barehanding a Davis grounder and firing it to first base in time to get the quick left-fielder for the third out.

Davis showed his own defensive prowess in the sixth inning. With two runners on, he made a nice diving catch on a Prince Fielder line drive to keep the game tied.

Notes: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was ejected in the ninth inning after arguing with home plate umpire Alan Porter. It was his fourth ejection of the season. ... Wang's earned-run average rose from 5.24 to 7.13. ... Toronto's Josh Johnson (1-2) is scheduled to start Wednesday night against fellow right-hander Max Scherzer (12-0). ... Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello is appealing a six-game suspension from Major League Baseball for hitting Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist with a pitch last Sunday. He's scheduled to start Friday at Cleveland and is available to pitch until the appeal is heard. ... Announced attendance at Rogers Centre was 27,189. The Blue Jays had sold out the previous two games. ... The game took two hours 48 minutes to play.

Miguel Cabrera (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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