It is beginning to sound like a broken record at this point.
Anibal Sanchez was dominant again, seven innings pitched, just two hits, no walks and five strikeouts. That should earn a win for most teams on most nights.
However, that was not enough for the reeling Detroit Tigers ballclub.
After another perfect one-two-three eighth inning from Joba Chamberlain, Detroit went into the ninth inning tied in a scoreless ballgame with Joe Nathan coming in for the hold.
Nathan walked the leadoff batter, then gave up a steal and a single before he was able to record his first and only out of his appearance. After a pickoff attempt at second let Jose Bautista advance from first to second, Nathan walked the hottest hitter in baseball, Edwin Encarnacion, to load the bases and that was all for the closer.
Ian Krol came in to play the lefty-lefty matchup, but Kevin Pillar, was able to hit a sacrifice fly to go up 2-0 and give Toronto a much needed insurance run.
Al Alburquerque was then called upon to get the final out of the inning, but Brett Lawrie had other plans. Lawrie took the 2-1 offering and hit a 379-foot bomb the other way to bury the Tigers and send the Blue Jays up 5-0.
JD Martinez ultimately did hit a three run shot in the bottom of the ninth to cut the deficit to 5-3, but it was too little too late. The next batter, Don Kelly, struck out on three pitches as the Tigers dropped game one of the series.
* * *
In game two of the series Rick Porcello was asked to stop the bleeding for the Detroit Tigers who were up against the red hot Blue Jays
Porcello was up to the task by throwing yet another quality start, and giving up just three earned runs in seven innings of work.
Detroit was down 3-2 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning when Blue Jays’ starter R.A Dickey was pulled from the game.
Left handed pitcher Aaron Loup came out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays and struck out pinch hitter JD Martinez to begin to chip away at the damage. With one out, Rajai Davis handed Toronto and Loup a gift by chasing a first pitch slider as he popped out foul to the catcher. After taking a few pitches, second baseman Ian Kinsler got jammed and lightly popped up in foul territory to end the threat.
Detroit never threatened again, and ultimately dropped the game, 8-2.
* * *
After dropping the first two games of the series, the Tigers sent out the ace of the staff, Justin Verlander for the final game. Surely he would be able to end the skid and turn the corner on what has been a brutal two weeks for Detroit.
After two early runs in the third, the Tigers were going into the top of the fourth with a 2-0 lead.
Bautista led off the inning by hitting a routine pop up to right field where Torii Hunter was cruising over to catch it. After what appeared to be some miscommunication between Hunter and Austin Jackson, Hunter brought his glove up at the last minute to make the play, before it bounded off his arm into shallow center field.
The error opened up the inning for the scorching Blue Jays who made Detroit pay for their generosity. Three hits and a walk later, Toronto was leading the game by a score of 3-2.
The Tigers were able to tie the game up in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI groundout off the bat of Kinsler, but the momentum was short lived.
Two batters into the sixth, Juan Francisco obliterated a hanging changeup into the right field seats to put Toronto back up by the score of 5-3. Lawrie, the next hitter, took a full count fastball and jumped all over it, sending it to the bullpens in left.
Phil Coke gave up another home run in the ninth to Melky Cabrera to make it 7-3, which was the final score of the game.
Detroit looks to turn it around when they face the Boston Red Sox tonight at 7:08 p.m.
Tony Garcia is the host of Tiger Talk for Impact Sports.