Saturday, August 09, 2014
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Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4

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[August 09, 2014]  Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4: Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez hit back-to-back home runs as visiting Detroit scored three runs in the ninth inning to defeat Toronto for the first time in four tries this season.

Trailing 4-2 entering the ninth, the Tigers set the stage for their rally when J.D. Martinez doubled on the first pitch he saw from Casey Janssen (3-1), who hung a curveball that Castellanos belted over the wall in left-center to tie it. Two pitches later, Suarez drove a cutter over the fence in straightaway center to give Detroit its only lead of the game.

Al Alburquerque (3-1) retired all five batters he faced in the seventh and the eighth while Joe Nathan left the bases loaded in the ninth for his 24th save as the Tigers maintained their lead in the American League Central at 2 1/2 games. Ian Kinsler added three hits and two RBIs for Detroit while Munenori Kawasaki went 2-for-2 and scored a run for Toronto, which dropped 1 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the AL’s second wild-card spot and six back of Baltimore in the AL East.

Danny Valencia sparked Toronto in the opening frame with a two-out run-scoring hit before the Blue Jays opened it up against Anibal Sanchez in the second when Kawasaki sparked a three-run outburst with a leadoff double. Following a sacrifice bunt, Ryan Goins plated him on a suicide-squeeze play while Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista followed moments later with a pair of RBI singles.

Detroit broke through in the third, getting a leadoff walk by Suarez and double from Rajai Davis ahead of Kinsler, who singled up the middle to cut the four-run deficit in half. Dustin McGowan and Brett Cecil each pitched a flawless inning in relief of Toronto starter R.A. Dickey, but Janssen was unable to hold the two-run lead en route to his first blown save since June 9.

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GAME NOTEBOOK: Sanchez, who was pitching at Rogers Centre for the first time since his Tigers’ debut in 2012, suffered an apparent right pectoral injury after 4 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs (three earned) and 10 hits. … Dickey allowed two runs on five hits and four walks while striking out six in six frames. … Suarez, who missed the previous three games due to a knee injury, homered for the first time since June 14.

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