DETROIT (AP) — Jose Bautista’s bid for a game-saving catch turned into trouble for the Blue Jays.Toronto manager John Farrell was happy with the effort, though.
Bautista missed an attempted sliding catch in the eighth inning and the ball scooted by him for a go-ahead triple, helping the Detroit Tigers beat the Blue Jays 4-2 on Monday night.
“That was absolutely the right play,” Farrell said. “No question.”
With one out in the eighth and the score tied at 2, Magglio Ordonez singled off Marc Rzepczynski (2-2). Shawn Camp came out of the bullpen and pinch-runner Austin Jackson stole second.
Jhonny Peralta sliced a liner into the right-centre gap that went under Bautista’s glove. The ball rolled to the wall before centre fielder Rajai Davis could retrieve it, giving Peralta a standup triple and the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
“Jose was in position and he was going to make the catch,” Farrell said. “The ball just passed through the lights at the last second and he lost it.”
After the Blue Jays intentionally walked Alex Avila, Ryan Raburn beat out a double-play ball to drive in Detroit’s fourth run.
“That was just another tough play,” Farrell said. “We thought we had the double play, but Raburn just beat the ball.”
Max Scherzer struck out nine over seven strong innings and the AL Central leaders won their third straight, snapping Toronto’s three-game winning streak.
In the makeup of a May 17 rainout, Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ejected in the seventh after a long argument that included a mocking impersonation of first base umpire Ed Rapuano changing his call on a close play.
Leyland refused to discuss the ejection after the game.
“That was a good win in a tough game,” he said. “We’re playing a lot of games in a short stretch, and I’m proud of these guys.”
Adam Lind hit his 16th homer for the Blue Jays.
Joaquin Benoit (2-3) picked up the win with a scoreless inning. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 18th save in as many attempts. Toronto put two on against Valverde, but pinch-hitter Juan Rivera hit into a game-ending double play.
Neither starter was involved in the decision. Scherzer allowed two runs, while Toronto’s Zach Stewart gave up two runs in six innings.
“I had a few bad breaks, but that comes with the territory,” Stewart said. “They got some soft hits, but they also hit a couple balls hard right at us, so it evens out.”
Detroit went ahead with single runs in the second and third before Toronto tied it with a pair in the fourth.
In the second, Victor Martinez doubled to drive in Miguel Cabrera. In the next inning, Martinez’s single brought home Brennan Boesch.
“We know that everyone in this lineup has the chance to get us that big hit,” Jackson said. “We’ve got strong hitters at one through nine.”
Blue Jays rookie Eric Thames led off the fourth with a double, went to third on Scherzer’s wild pitch and scored on Bautista’s groundout. Lind followed with a home run to make it 2-all.
NOTES: The Blue Jays used an unusual defensive shift against Martinez in the sixth. Instead of shifting all the infielders to the right, Farrell left shortstop Yunel Escobar in his normal position and placed third baseman Jayson Nix to the right of second base. The move worked, as Martinez grounded to Nix for a 5-3 putout. … Bautista took grounders at third base and is expected to start there Tuesday against Pittsburgh.
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