Kevin Pillar hit a solo home run and had four hits as the Toronto Blue Jays stopped a three-game losing slide with a 5-4 triumph over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Pillar’s 15th homer of the season came off Tigers reliever Warwick Saupold (3-2) to give Toronto a 3-2 lead in the sixth.
The Blue Jays centre-fielder also put on a series defensively in the fifth inning, robbing Dixon Machado of additional bases.
Ryan Tepera earned his second save of the season for Toronto (65-77), but it was not straightforward. Nick Castellanos hit an RBI double in the ninth while James McCann had an RBI single as the Tigers cut the lead to 5-4. Tepera struck out Andrew Romine looking as the Tigers (60-81) stranded runners on first and third to end the game.
Blue Jays starter Brett Anderson (3-3) earned the victory after going six innings, giving up two runs, five hits and striking out five.
Tigers starter Chad Bell went 4 2/3 innings while allowing two runs, five hits and struck out five.
Pillar began the scoring in the first with an RBI single. The 28-year-old’s other four-hit game of the year came from the Tampa Bay Rays on April 28.
Following Pillar’s homer in the sixth, the Blue Jays made it 4-2 as Luke Maile hit a two-out RBI single.
Saupold was charged with both runs as the Tigers used three pitchers to escape the inning.
Miguel Cabrera, who returned from a six-game suspension for a brawl from the New York Yankees, launched a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Cabrera’s homer was his 15th of the season and 461st of his career, tying him with Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre for 37th on Major League Baseballs’ all-time record.
The Jays responded in the bottom half of the inning as Pillar hit a two-out RBI single off Bell. Richard Urena opened the inning with a walk but was erased after a fielder’s choice by Jose Bautista. Three batters later, Pillar delivered using a hard-hit single up the middle, scoring Bautista.
Urena, who hit his first career homer on Friday, continued his momentum with two singles, a walk, and a slick double play turned into the fourth.
Kendrys Morales led off the fourth inning with his second walk of the match, and came around to score because the Jays tied the match at 2-2 after Teoscar Hernandez was caught attempting to steal second base. Morales reached home before Hernandez was captured in a run-down to end the inning.
Bautista hit an RBI single in the eighth to extend Toronto’s lead to 5-2. Bautista also made a back-handed sliding catch in the sixth to save a run.
Notes: Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson stayed out of lineup with an illness. … Tigers outfielder Mikie Mahtook was scratched before game with groin soreness. … Attendance at Rogers Centre was 44,218.
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail