Tigers beat Blue Jays 8-6, Sanchez takes no-hit bid into 8th inning
Detroit Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 3, 2015, in Detroit. (AP / Duane Burleson)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, July 3, 2015 9:19PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 4, 2015 8:30AM EDT
DETROIT -- For one inning Friday night, the Toronto Blue Jays appeared to have baseball's best offence.
That wasn't quite enough to overcome the other eight in an 8-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Toronto didn't get a hit in the first 7 1/3 innings against Anibal Sanchez and trailed 8-0 when Ezequiel Carrera broke up the no-hit bid with a clean single to left.
"I was trying to get a double play, but he fought the whole at-bat," Sanchez said. "I got ahead in the count, but he put a good swing on a changeup away."
Sanchez walked Justin Smoak leading off the eighth, and Devon Travis and Ryan Goins followed Carrera with singles to make it 8-1. Josh Donaldson added a two-run single off Alex Wilson, and Jose Bautista walked to load the bases.
Edwin Encarnacion flied out, Dioner Navarro hit a three-run double that made it 8-6 and Bruce Rondon threw a wild pitch and then walked Smoak. With closer Joakim Soria hurrying to warm up, Kevin Pillar hit an inning-ending flyout.
"That's the mentality of this team," Navarro said. "We can score a bunch of runs in the blink of an eye, but it is tough to dig yourself out of that hole."
Soria pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances, striking out Josh Donaldson to end the game with a runner on second.
"We won the game, and that makes it a good day," Sanchez said. "That's all that counts."
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera left the game in the fourth inning when he got hurt while breaking for second base on an attempted hit-and-run. The Tigers expect the two-time AL MVP to go on the disabled list.
"I'm not optimistic at all," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "When Miggy says he can't play, it is serious, because Miggy plays through everything."
Cabrera had an MRI, which showed no injury to his Achilles' tendon. He will be examined again Saturday.
Sanchez (7-7) wound up allowing four runs, three hits and three walks in 7 1-3 innings, and left after 117 pitches.
"When Sanchez is on, he's one of the best pitchers in the game, because he can throw four or five pitches anywhere he needs them," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "But we did what we do, which is hang around, get some hits and make things interesting."
Drew Hutchinson (8-2) gave up seven runs -- five earned -- 10 hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. Victor Martinez had three hits for the Tigers.
Cabrera's RBI single put the Tigers ahead in the first, and Detroit broke open the game in a five-run fourth. With the bases loaded, Nick Castellanos lined a ball into shallow left-centre and it bounced out of Carrera's glove as the left fielder tried for a diving catch. Carrera threw to third, trying to force Martinez, who hadn't seen the ball bounce free, but the throw eluded Josh Donaldson, and Martinez ended up scoring Detroit's second run on the throwing error.
Anthony Gose followed with a single to left, but Carrera's throw sailed into the Toronto dugout for another error. Gose ended up on third and scored on Jose Iglesias's sacrifice fly.
"We were really sloppy in the field, which is unusual for us," Gibbons said. "That cost us some runs that ended up being pretty important."
Toronto: SS Jose Reyes left in the seventh inning with the Blue Jays trailing 7-0. Gibbons said it was only because of the score.
Tigers: Avila was activated from the disabled list before the game after being out since May 8 with a knee injury. Avila was originally expected to require surgery that would have sidelined him for most of the season but was able to return after intense physical therapy.
The teams play the second of three games Saturday, with Detroit's David Price (7-2) facing R.A. Dickey (3-8). The Tigers are 13-3 when Price starts this season and 27-36 with anyone else.