Live Tigers blog: Blue Jays shut out Tigers in Toronto

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News


The Tigers were able to tag Blue Jays pitching for seven hits, but what they were unable to do is string enough together to bring any runs around as they lost for the second consecutive night north of the border, 7-0.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Tigers can't blame this loss on tonight's starting pitcher, Mike Pelfrey. Sure, Pelfrey gave up six hits and walked three, but he also got three double play balls in giving up just one run in six innings of work.

Though the offense, or lack thereof, will take the brunt of the criticism for tonight's loss, the bullpen and management will take a little heat as well. Brad Ausmus opted to bring in Kyle Ryan into a one-run game in the seventh. Ryan and Bobby Parnell combined to give up four runs in the frame.

In the ninth, Justin Upton grounded out to shortstop, James McCann struck out swinging and Mike Aviles grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

With the blown lead last night and questions swirling around the starting pitching for the rest of the weekend, this trip to Toronto has suddenly turned into a nightmare scenario for the Tigers.

Bottom 8th: Blue Jays 6, Tigers 0

Mark Lowe came in with the Tigers down and gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Kevin Pillar and Darwin Barney. Ezequiel Carrera was able to drive a ball deep enough to right center to score Pillar with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0.

Justin Smoak struck out swinging to leadoff the inning.

Top 8th: Blue Jays 5, Tigers 0

Bo Scultz came out of the Toronto bullpen and set the Tigers down in order on just seven pitches.

Miguel Cabrera flew out to left field, Victor Martinez grounded out into the shift on the right side of the infield and Nick Castellanos grounded out to shortstop.

The Tigers offense hasn't been awful tonight, but it sure as heck hasn't been opportunistic.

Bottom 7th: Blue Jays 5, Tigers 0

Kyle Ryan entered out of the bullpen in the seventh and the Blue Jays teed off on the southpaw. Justin Smoak notched a leadoff single and Kevin Pillar pushed the lead to 2-0 with an RBI double to right center.

Ryan was able to get Darwin Barney to line out to first base for the first out of the inning, but he walked Ezequiel Carrera to put two men on and was promptly pulled from the game in favor of Bobby Parnell.

Parnell couldn't get the job done after getting Josh Donaldson to pop out, giving up a three-run blast to Edwin Encarnacion to push the Toronto lead to 5-0.

Tornoto wasn't done, getting back-to-back singles from Junior Lake and Russell Martine before Parnell, mercifully, got Troy Tulowitzki to strike out to end the frame.

Top 7th: Blue Jays 1, Tigers 0

The Tigers are running out of outs after being set down in order by Jesse Chavez in the seventh inning.

Jose Iglesias grounded out to second, Ian Kinsler flew out to right field and Cameron Maybin grounded out to shortstop.

Bottom 6th: Blue Jays 1, Tigers 0

Michael Saunders notched a one-out single to leadoff the sixth, but Mike Pelfrey did it again, getting Russell Martin to ground into a double play to prevent any real trouble from developing. He got Troy Tulowitzki to pop out to shortstop to end the inning, and strangely enough, Pelfrey made it further in this game than his counterpart, J.A. Happ, who was pulled before the end of the top of the sixth.

Having thrown 103 pitches, that should be it for Pelfrey, who did a nice job stranding runners and getting timely ground balls to keep his team close.

Top 6th: Blue Jays 1, Tigers 0

Miguel Cabrera led things off with a single to left field and moved up to second after Justin Upton drew a two-out walk that chased J.A. Happ (109 pitches) from the game. James McCann followed with a single to left field that loaded the bases for Mike Aviles, but the Tigers utility man couldn't come through, grounding out to shortstop on the first pitch he saw from reliever Jesse Chavez.

Victor Martinez popped out and Nick Castellanos became Happ's ninth strikeout victim of the ninth between the Cabrera and Upton at-bats.

The Tigers have outhit the Blue Jays thus far (7-5), but they just haven't been able to get the clutch knocks.

Bottom 5th: Blue Jays 1, Tigers 0

Darwin Barney doubled to left field and an Ezequiel Carrera single put runners on the corners, but Mike Pelfrey was able to limit the damage with the big bats due up for Toronto. The Tigers starter got Josh Donaldson to ground into a double play, scoring the runner from third but clearing the base paths for Edwin Encarnacion, who grounded out to third to end the inning.

The Blue Jays grabbed the lead, but things could have been much worse. Pelfrey's saving grace this season has been the double play ball.

Top 5th: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Ian Kinsler dropped a two-out single into right field, but Cameron Maybin grounded out to third to end the inning.

Mike Aviles fouled out and Jose Iglesias lined out to start the frame.

The Tigers have notched at least one hit in four innings tonight, but they just haven't been able to string any together against J.A. Happ, who went without a strikeout in an inning for the first time tonight.

Bottom 4th: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Troy Tulowitzki notched a one-out single through the left side of the infield, but he was able to get out of the inning after getting Justin Smoak to fly out (loudly) to left center field and Kevin Pillar to line out to left

Russell Martin grounded out to second to leadoff the inning.

It was an efficient inning for Pelfrey, who helped out his pitch count a bit with a 12-pitch frame. It's now at 78.

Top 4th: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

J.A. Happ has now struck out eight Tigers through the first four innings and appears to be getting stronger, picking up his first 1-2-3 frame of the night.

Nick Castellanos struck out swinging, Justin Upton did the same and James McCann flew out to center field to end the inning.

Happ's pitch count is in decent shape at 68.

Bottom 3rd: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Edwin Encarnacion was able to draw a two-out walk from Mike Pelfrey, but the inning was over one pitch later when Michael Saunders grounded out to first base.

Ezequiel Carrera struck out to leadoff the inning and Nick Castellanos made a spectacular diving stop to nab Josh Donaldson for the second out.

Pelfrey's pitch count is elevated at 66. At this rate, he'll be lucky to pitch five full innings tonight.

Top 3rd: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Jose Iglesias doubled down the left field line to leadoff the third, but the Tigers once again were unable to get to J.A. Happ.

Ian Kinsler became Happ's sixth strikeout victim and Iglesias was thrown out at third after a base running mistake on a ground ball off the bat of Cameron Maybin back to the mound. With two outs and Maybin on first, Miguel Cabrera singled to left field,  but Victor Martinez popped out to end the inning.

It seems to be all or nothing for the Tigers right now. They have four hits, but have struck out six times in the first three innings.

Happ's pitch count is slightly elevated at 56.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Mike Pelfrey loaded the bases with Blue Jays with two outs in the second inning, but as the much-maligned Tigers starter has done time after time this season, he was able to escape unscathed after getting Darwin Barney to ground out back to the mound.

Michael Saunders drew a leadoff walk from Pelfrey, Russell Martin singled to center field when Cameron Maybin had the ball squirt away from him after a diving attempt. Saunders moved up to third after Troy Tulowitzki flew out to right field. Justin Smoak struck out looking before Kevin Pillar walked to load the bases.

Despite his numbers this season, Pelfrey has been able to avoid huge meltdowns at times by getting key ground balls.

Top 2nd: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Nick Castellanos singled to left field to leadoff the frame and moved up to second base on a passed ball, but again the Tigers fell victim to J.A. Happ, who picked up two more strikeouts in the inning to give him five through the first two innings.

Justin Upton struck out looking, James McCann swinging and Mike Aviles looking to get out of the inning.

Happ appears dialed in right now and that means the Tigers could be in for a long night.

Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Josh Donaldson singled to right field but Mike Pelfrey was able to get out of the first inning in typical Pelfrey fashion by getting Edwin Encarnacion to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Ezequiel Carrera grounded out to shortstop to leadoff the inning.

Top 1st: Tigers 0, Blue Jays 0

Cameron Maybin drove a one-out single to right field, but the Tigers weren't able to do anything with him on base, as J.A. Happ got the final two outs with ease by striking out Miguel Cabrera and getting Victor Martinez to ground out to second.

Ian Kinsler struck out swinging to leadoff the game.

The Tigers have struggled with left-handed pitching this season, but they're going to have to figure out something tonight with Mike Pelfrey likely to give up some runs to this high-powered Toronto lineup.


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. James McCann, C

8. Mike Aviles, RF

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Mike Pelfrey, 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

J.A. Happ, P


What: Second of a four-game series

When: Friday, 7:07 p.m.

Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto

Pitching matchup: RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-7, 4.78) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (11-3, 3.54)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: MLB Network (Blacked out in Detroit market)

Internet streaming: MLB.TV (Blacked out in Detroit market)

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: Sirius, Internet 849