The Toronto Blue Jays have not had an easy time with the visiting Detroit Tigers, but they have a chance to win the four-game series Sunday afternoon regardless.
Despite being outhit 10-4 on Saturday, the Blue Jays took advantage of Tigers mistakes to win 5-3.
The key hit was a three-run homer by Teoscar Hernandez against Derek Law, who hit a batter and committed an error on a potential double-play comebacker in the four-run sixth inning. Law also had a wild pitch in the inning.
“He didn’t execute a (cutter) to a good offense and didn’t field his position on a comebacker that could’ve got him out of the inning,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “As we’ve said for three straight days, extra runners and extra outs against these guys is dangerous.”
The Tigers do have some excellent relievers, who are attracting interest as the trade deadline approaches, but Hinch stayed with Law, who was just promoted from Triple-A Toledo.
“We’re gassed in the ‘pen,” Hinch said. “We had to try to get to the finish line, so we tried to squeeze some outs out of some guys. I was going to get (Alex) Lange in there, and when the game flipped, I’m not going to put him in a loss.”
The Tigers won two of three from the San Diego Padres to start the week and still could gain a split with the Blue Jays.
“There’s no column for moral victories,” Hinch said. “We’ve been playing better, and these are good teams we’re playing. I like the at-bats all the way until the very end. We were a couple feet away from tying the game, but you want to win these.”
Unlike the Tigers, the Blue Jays are out to add before the deadline.
“I think everybody wants the team to do something,” Hernandez said. “Everybody is talking about it. We’re just waiting to hear who we’re going to get, or how many players we’re going to get. If we get some help — welcome. And we’ll just continue to do our jobs.
“For me, I try not to think about it. Just focus on my job and let the front office do their job. But, of course, everyone is waiting for the last hours to be done so we can focus on the rest of the season, whether we have new players or not.”
The Blue Jays, with a 4-2 advantage, have clinched the season series with the Tigers.
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Jose Berrios (7-4, 5.20 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday. He will be opposed by right-hander Garrett Hill (1-2, 5.57).
In 13 career outings (12 starts) against Detroit, Berrios is 6-2 with a 4.80 ERA. Hill has never faced Toronto.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled in the first inning Saturday to extend his hit streak to 11 games, during which he is batting .432 with one homer and six RBIs. He is batting .340 with three homers and 16 RBIs in July.
Tigers right fielder Victor Reyes was 2-for-4 with a walk Saturday. It was his ninth multi-hit game of the season, three of which have come against the Blue Jays.
Toronto recalled right-hander Trent Thornton from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned right-hander Max Castillo to Buffalo on Saturday.
With Law selected from Toledo, Detroit returned right-hander Bryan Garcia to Triple-A. Garcia started the game on Friday and did not factor in the decision.
–Field Level Media