Live Tigers blog: Tigers rout Blue Jays
FINAL: TIGERS 11, BLUE JAYS 0
Michael Fulmer threw a gem, Justin Upton had himself a night and the Tigers were firing on all cylinders as they crushed the Blue Jays Monday night, 11-0, en route to their fourth consecutive victory.
James McCann broke the game open in the second inning with a three-run home run and Upton hit a two-run shot of his own in the third.
Upton scored three times and drove in three runs on the night. He also stole a base while and drew a walk while going 2-for-3 at the plate.
The Tigers outhit Toronto 15-2 as Fulmer pitched six strong innings, allowing just the two hits on three walks. He struggled with his control early on, but he settled in nicely and was able to cruise with the early lead.
Anibal Sanchez made his first relief appearance of the season in the eighth inning and set down the three hitters he faced with ease.
In the ninth, Blain Hardy gave up a two-out triple to Michael Saunders and walked Justin Smoak to put runners on the corner for Josh Thole. Hardy got Thole to ground out to second base to end the game and preserve the shutout
Bottom 8th: Tigers 11, Blue Jays 0
J.D. Martinez came to bat with two men on and brought them both home with a two-RBI double down the left field line to make it 11-0. The double was the 15th hit of the night for the Tigers.
Drew Storen was the new reliever for Toronto and gave up a one-out single to Andrew Romine, who was in to pinch-hit for Miguel Cabrera. Storen then walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to set up the Martinez double.
Top 8th: Tigers 9, Blue Jays 0
Anibal Sanchez made his debut out of the Tigers bullpen in the eighth inning and was able to set Toronto down in order.
Sanchez struck out Kevin Pillar, got Darwin Barney to ground out to the shortstop and Ezequiel Carrera to fly out to left field.
In my opinion, I don't think Sanchez will be in the bullpen for very long unless Matt Boyd, Mike Pelfrey or Daniel Norris really perform well over the next month in those last two starter spots behind Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmerman and Michael Fulmer.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 9, Blue Jays 0
Former Tiger Jason Grilli got the call out of the Toronto bullpen and gave up a two-out double to James McCann and Jose Iglesias beat out a ball down the first baseline to put runners on the corners for Ian Kinsler, who couldn't deliver a tenth run for the Tigers as he struck out swinging to end the inning.
Nick Castellanos struck out and Justin Upton did the same to start the inning, meaning, despite his troubles, Grilli struck out the side in the seventh.
Top 7th: Tigers 9, Blue Jays 0
Despite throwing just 88 pitches through six innings of shutout baseball, Michael Fulmer was shown the door as the Tigers have built a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Alex Wilson came in and set the Blue Jays down in order heading to the seventh inning stretch.
Justin Smoak grounded out to third base, Russell Martin grounded out to second and Devon Travis did the same.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 9, Blue Jays 0
Nick Castellanos ripped a leadoff double to center field off of Toronto reliever Gavin Floyd and Justin Upton continued his stellar night with an RBI single to center field to stretch the lead to 7-0.
With Upton having moved up to second base on a wild pitch, James McCann struck out looking and Jose Iglesias flew out to left field before Ian Kinsler brought home the Tigers' eighth run of the night with a single to left field.
Cameron Maybin kept things going with an infield single, putting runners on the corners for Miguel Cabrera, who stroked a single to right-center for his first RBI of the night, putting the Tigers up 9-0.
It didn't stop there as Victor Martinez drew a walk to load the bases and chased Floyd from the game. Joe Biagini came into the unenviable situation and got J.D. Martinez to ground out to end the inning.
Upton is having himself a nice night with a home run, single, three RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.
Top 6th: Tigers 6, Blue Jays 0
Michael Fulmer is on cruise control as he set the Blue Jays down in order in the sixth inning.
Josh Donaldson grounded out, Edwin Encarnacion struck out swinging and Michael Saunders struck out looking as he became Fulmer's fifth strikeout victim of the night.
Fulmer has slowly put together a real nice performance tonight. Though he's allowing men to get on base, he's only allowed one to get into scoring position while continuing to shutout Toronto's big bats.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 6, Blue Jays 0
J.A. Happ seems to have found a rhythm as he set the Tigers down in order for the second consecutive inning. Unfortunately for Happ, the Tigers have already tagged him for six runs in this one.
Miguel Cabrera grounded out to second base, Victor Martinez struck out swinging and J.D. Martinez flew out into foul territory to end the frame.
Top 5th: Tigers 6, Blue Jays 0
Darwin Barney notched a two-out, infield hit to give Toronto its fifth baserunner of the night. Michael Fulmer, however, is not a fan of allowing runs and stranded another runner as he got Jose Bautista to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Devon Travis flew out to center field and Kevin Pillar grounded out to leadoff the inning.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 6, Blue Jays 0
J.A. Happ set the Tigers down in order for the first time tonight.
Jose Iglesias flew out to center field, Ian Kinsler grounded out to third and Cameron Maybin popped out to end the inning.
Top 4th: Tigers 6, Blue Jays 0
Michael Fulmer got exactly what he need in the fourth inning as he set the Blue Jays down in order for the first time tonight.
Michael Saunders grounded out back to the pitcher, Justin Smoak struck out swinging and Russell Martin flew out to left field.
A six-run lead will put a little pep in your step. Fulmer, whose pitch count is at 61, is in good shape for a nice line tonight as long as he stays dialed in.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 6, Blue Jays 0
Justin Upton got just enough of a two-out offering from J.A. Happ, hitting it to right field and just above the yellow line on the wall for a two-run home run that puts the Tigers in a commanding position, leading 6-0.
J.D. Martinez found a hole through the right side of the infield for a one-out single and Nick Castellanos grounded into a fielder's choice, beating out a would-be double play ball to keep the inning alive for Upton.
Top 3rd: Tigers 4, Blue Jays 0
Darwin Barney was able to notch a one-out single after Ian Kinsler started right on a ball that was going to his left. After Michael Fulmer got Jose Bautista to fly out to left field, Josh Donaldson was able to draw Fulmer's third walk of the night. Once again, though, Fulmer was able to keep the Blue Jays off the board as he got Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to right field to end the threat.
Kevin Pillar flew out to left field to leadoff the inning.
Fulmer has allowed men to reach in each of the first three innings, but he's been able to pitch well out of the stretch and strand all three. His pitch count is the same as his counterpart, J.A. Happ, at 48.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 4, Blue Jays 0
With runners on the corner and one out, Justin Upton stole second base so that James McCann wouldn't be able to ground into an inning-ending double play. Turns out, the Tigers need not worry about McCann, who belted a ball deep to left field and over the bullpen for a three-run home run that gives the Tigers an early 3-0 lead.
Kevin Pillar misread a ball off the bat of Nick Castellanos, allowing it to fly over his head and all the way to the wall in center field for a one-out triple by the Tigers' third baseman. Justin Upton drew a walk from J.A. Happ, putting runners on the corners for McCann.
Ian Kinsler stroked a two-out single to left field and moved up to second on a balk from Happ and up to third on a wild pitch. Four pitches later, on a 2-2 to Cameron Maybin, Kinsler scored the Tigers fourth run of the inning on another wild pitch from Happ. Maybin kept the good times rolling with a single through the left side of the infield, but Miguel Cabrera flew out to center field to end the inning.
Top 2nd: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0
Michael Fulmer put the leadoff man on for the second consecutive inning when he walked Michael Saunders. Justin Smoak flew out to left field, moving Saunders up to second base and into scoring position. Russell Martin grounded out to first, moving Saunders up to third, but Fulmer was able to Devon Travis to ground out to end the inning.
Fulmer seems to be struggling a bit with his location tonight. He'll have to straighten that out if he's going to have a long outing tonight. The good news right now isn't he hasn't allowed either of his two walks to come around and score.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0
Cameron Maybin drew a four-pitch, one-out walk from Toronto starter J.A. Happ, but Miguel Cabrera struck out and Victor Martinez grounded out to end the inning.
Ian Kinsler popped out to lead things off.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0
Jose Bautista drew a leadoff walk from Michael Fulmer, but the young Tigers' pitcher was able to settle in nicely after that and get out of the first frame without an issue.
Fulmer struck out Josh Donaldson, the reigning American League MVP, before getting Edwin Encarnacion to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Facing the Blue Jays is going to be a tough task for Fulmer, so it's a good sign that he was able to bounce back after walking the leadoff man.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Cameron Maybin, CF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
7. Justin Upton, LF
8. James McCann, C
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
RHP Michael Fulmer
BLUE JAYS LINEUP
1. Jose Bautista, RF
2. Josh Donaldson, 3B
3. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
4. Michael Saunders, LF
5. Justin Smoak, 1B
6. Russell Martin, C
7. Devon Travis, 2B
8. Kevin Pillar, CF
9. Darwin Barney, SS
LHP J.A. Happ
TIGERS VS. BLUE JAYS
What: First of a three-game series
When: Monday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit
Pitching matchup: Michael Fulmer (5-1, 3.24 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (6-2, 3.06 ERA)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
National TV: None
Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: SIRI 216, SiriusXM 178