Replay: Tigers lose late lead, fall 5-4 to Jays

Al Willman, The Detroit News

The Tigers bullpen reared its ugly head in Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays.

The Jays scored twice in the bottom of the eighth, to take the lead, on a bases-loaded two-run single from Troy Tulowitzki.

Justin Verlander started for the Tigers (45-41), going 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking four.

Justin Wilson took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Justin Upton and Nick Castellanos had solo home runs for the Tigers.

Drew Hutchison started for the Jays (49-39), going six innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking one.

The two teams continue their four-game set tomorrow. First pitch is set for 7:07. Mike Pelfrey (2-7, 4.78 ERA) goes for the Tigers, while J.A. Happ (11-3, 3.54 ERA) starts for the Jays.

Bottom 8th: Tigers blow lead

The Tigers showed some defensive intelligence in the bottom of the eighth inning. After left-handed reliever Justin Wilson put two on with nobody out, he struck out Edwin Encarnacion swinging for the first out. The next batter, Michael Saunders, grounded into a fielder's choice to Miguel Cabrera at first, who threw home to James McCann, who ran down Ezequiel Carrera -- going back to third base. Wilson then walked Russell Martin to load the bases. Right-hander Alex Wilson came in to replace Justin Wilson, giving up a two-run single to Troy Tulowitzki, which put the Blue Jays back ahead. After eight, the Jays lead 5-4.

Top 8th: Tigers strand one

The Tigers got a two-out walk from Nick Castellanos, but nothing else, against former Tiger Jason Grilli in the top of the eighth inning. Justin Upton struck out -- his 107th of the season -- to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers have a 4-3 lead.

Bottom 7th: Jays chip away

The Blue Jays chipped away at the Tigers lead in the bottom of the seventh inning on Tigers reliever Shane Greene. After Michael Saunders doubled to right to lead off the inning, he scored on a one-out single by Troy Tulowitzki. Left-hander Justin Wilson came in to replace Greene, striking out lefty Justin Smoak, before giving up a two-out single to Kevin Pillar. Darwin Barney grounded out to Ian Kinsler to end the inning. After seven, the Tigers are ahead 4-3.

Top 7th: Tigers add to lead

The Tigers added to their lead in the top of the seventh inning. James McCann led off the inning with a double, and moved to third on a single from Jose Iglesias. Ian Kinsler grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, started by an off-balance Troy Tulowitzki, scoring McCann. Cameron Maybin struck out swinging to end the half inning, but going to the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers lead 4-2.

Bottom 6th: JV exits with lead

With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Tigers starter Justin Verlander found himself in yet another jam. After giving up a single to Kevin Pillar and a ground-rule double to Darwin Barney, the Blue Jays had runners at second and third with one out. The next batter, Ezequiel Carrera laid down a bunt, which Verlander fielded and threw home -- getting Pillar. Jays manager John Gibbons asked for a review, but the call stood. Shane Greene then came in to replace Verlander, and hit Josh Donaldson to load the bases. Greene got out of the jam by striking out Edwin Encarnacion to end the inning. After six, the Tigers are still up 3-2.

Verlander went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking four. He is in line for the win.

Top 6th: Tigers go 1-2-3

Despite pitching from behind, Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison is having a good game. He set the Tigers down in order in the top of the sixth, including strikeouts to Nick Castellanos and Steven Moya. Through six innings, Hutchison has seven strikeouts and only one walk, to go with three runs on six hits. Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers are up 3-2.

Bottom 5th: JV escapes another jam

For the second time in three innings, Tigers starter Justin Verlander worked himself into a jam. Josh Donaldson reached on a throwing error by Ian Kinsler -- who was overshifted -- that pulled Miguel Cabrera off the bag at first. Verlander then walked Edwin Encarnacion, putting the first two Blue Jays on base. Verlander followed with back-to-back strikeouts of Michael Saunders and Russell Martin before getting Troy Tulowitzki to ground out to Cabrera. After five, the Tigers lead 3-2.

Top 5th: Tigers leave runners at corners

The Tigers had their first two batters on to start the fifth inning, following a leadoff single from Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler getting hit by a pitch. Cameron Maybin, the third batter, grounded into a fielder's choice, putting runners at the corners with one out. Both Maybin and Iglesias were stranded, however, as Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging and Victor Martinez flew out to center field. Going to the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers are holding on to a 3-2 lead.

Bottom 4th: Jays go 1-2-3

Tigers starter Justin Verlander, working with a lead, set the Blue Jays down in order in the bottom of the fourth inning. He induced groundouts to Kevin Pillar (shortstop), Darwin Barney (third base) and Ezequiel Carrera (second base). After four, the Tigers lead 3-2.

Top 4th: Tigers take lead

With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Nick Castellanos sent a 1-1 pitch from Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison over the wall in left center, tying the game. The next batter, Justin Upton, doubled to left field -- his second hit of the game. Two batters later, James McCann singled in Upton, but was thrown out at second attempting to advance. Going to the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers have a 3-2 lead

Bottom 3rd: JV loads bases, escapes jam

Tigers starter Justin Verlander worked himself into a bit of a jam in the bottom of the third inning. After giving up a leadoff double to Josh Donaldson, he walked Michael Saunders (one out) and Troy Tulowitzki (two outs) to load the bases. Verlander struck out Justin Smoak on a ball in the dirt to end the threat. After three, the Blue Jays have a 2-1 lead.

Top 3rd: Tigers leave two on

With two outs in the top of the third, the Tigers put a pair of runners on -- on an infield single from Ian Kinsler and a walk to Cameron Maybin. However, they were left there when Miguel Cabrera lined out to Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Going to the bottom of the third, it's 2-1 Jays.

Bottom 2nd: JV strands single

After getting the first two Blue Jays in order in the bottom of the second inning, Tigers starter Justin Verlander gave up a two-out single to Darwin Barney. Verlander stranded him when Ezequiel Carrera flew out to Ian Kinsler, who made the over-the-shoulder catch in right field. After two innings, the Tigers trail 2-1. 

Top 2nd: Upton smacks solo shot

The Tigers got a run back in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Justin Upton sent an 0-2 pitch from Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison to the seats in straightaway center field, to cut the Tigers' deficit to a run. Going to the bottom of the second, the Tigers are down 2-1. 

Bottom 1st: Jays come out swinging

The Blue Jays got a pair of runs off Tigers starter Justin Verlander with two outs in the bottom of the first. After Josh Donaldson walked with one out -- advancing to second on an Edwin Encarnacion ground out -- he scored on a single from Michael Saunders -- who was hitting .120 career against Verlander going into the at-bat. The next batter, Russell Martin, doubled in Saunders. After one, the Jays have a 2-0 lead.

Top 1st: Tigers go in order

The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the first against Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison. Ian Kinsler -- a candidate for the final American League All-Star spot -- struck out swinging, before Ian Kinsler before Cameron Maybin grounded out and Miguel Cabrera flew out to former Tiger Ezequiel Carrera to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

How to watch: Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays

With a big monkey finally off their backs by defeating the Indians, the Tigers head to Toronto for a four-game series starting Thursday night. First pitch is 7:07 p.m. with Justin Verlander starting for Detroit.

After the Toronto series the Tigers will be off until Friday, July 15 for the All-Star break.

The Tigers’ 12-2 win over the Indians on Thursday rejuvenated the team, Chris McCosky reports.

The Tigers are headed toward the Aug. 1 trade deadline still in contention but facing a weak group of starting pitchers likely to be available, as Tony Paul explains.

The 1976 sensation that was Mark “The Bird” Fidrych is captured in a documentary that will debut on the MLB Network on Sunday night at 10 p.m.


1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Cameron Maybin, CF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Justin Upton, LF

7. Steven Moya, RF

8. James McCann, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Justin Verlander, P


1. Ezequiel Carrera, RF

2. Josh Donaldson, 3B

3. Edwin Encarnacion, DH

4. Michael Saunders, LF

5. Russell Martin, C

6. Troy Tulowitzki, SS

7. Justin Smoak, 1B

8. Kevin Pillar, CF

9. Darwin Barney, 2B

Drew Hutchison, P


When: Thursday, 7:07 p.m.

Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto

Pitching matchup: RHP Justin Verlander (8-6, 4.11) vs. RHP Drew Hutchison (1-0, 5.40)

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 Internet 849