Slumping Tigers get swept, lose 9-2 to Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) — Still stinging from being swept by the power-packed Blue Jays, the slumping Detroit Tigers don’t have much to look forward to. Up next, a trip to Kansas City to face the AL-leading Royals.
Edwin Encarnacion homered for the fourth time in two days, Josh Donaldson also connected and the Blue Jays beat the Tigers 9-2 on Sunday.
Monday’s off day is a chance for last-place Detroit to catch its breath before getting ready for the Royals.
"It’s not going to get any easier," manager Brad Ausmus said. "We’re going to have to man up."
The Tigers have lost nine of 10, with Justin Verlander’s near no-hitter against the Angels last Wednesday the only victory in that span. Verlander will start at Kansas City on Tuesday.
The Blue Jays, owners of baseball’s most potent offense, pounded the Tigers for 29 runs during the sweep.
"It’s a very potent lineup," catcher James McCann said. "There’s no breaks in that lineup. No matter where you look, there’s a good hitter that can do some damage."
Russell Martin and Kevin Pillar each hit a two-run shot for Toronto, which leads the majors with 184 home runs. The AL East leaders had their second straight four-homer game and sixth of the season.
Toronto’s 45 home runs in August are the most in the majors. The Blue Jays have hit three or more in six of their past 11 games.
"We ran into the best offensive team in the league," Ausmus said. "They were swinging the bats extremely well and we didn’t pitch very well. That’s not a good recipe."
Mark Buehrle (14-6) allowed two runs in six-plus innings as the Blue Jays improved to 21-5 in August, matching the team record for wins in a month. Toronto went 21-9 in May 2014.
"If this isn’t the feel of a championship team, I don’t know what is," Martin said. "I feel like we’re great offensively, we’re great on defense, we’re pitching great, our bullpen has depth. I like what we have going right now. We’ve just got to keep pushing, keep playing the game the way we play and I think we’re going to do great things."
With the Blue Jays already leading 1-0 on Donaldson’s 36th homer, Encarnacion doubled the advantage with a two-out drive off Alfredo Simon (11-9) in the first, going deep for the third straight at-bat.
Encarnacion hit three home runs and matched a Blue Jays record with nine RBIs in Saturday’s 15-1 rout.
Sunday’s solo drive extended Encarnacion’s hitting streak to 25 games, the longest in the majors since a 28-game run by Colorado’s Nolan Arenado in 2014.
The home run was Encarnacion’s 30th of the season, 11 of which have come in August. He has a major league-leading 35 RBIs this month, breaking the club record he shared with Carlos Delgado, who had 34 in June 2003.
Toronto is the first team with three 30-homer hitters in the same season since the Angels in 2012, when Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo did it.
"We’re playing great baseball," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Everything’s really clicking."
Encarnacion finished 2 for 3. He flied out to the warning track in right in the third, was hit by Simon’s 47 mph eephus pitch in the fifth and singled in the seventh. He’s batting .409 (38 for 93) during his hitting streak.
Donaldson went 2 for 5 with two RBIs, raising his major league-best total to 106.
Simon allowed six runs and six hits, including all four homers, in five innings.
Detroit has lost its past five games in Toronto, its longest skid there since dropping eight straight from 2001-03.
Simon is the second Tigers pitcher to allow four homers in a game this season. Shane Greene gave up four in an 8-6 loss to the Angels on May 30.
Tigers: Verlander (2-6, 3.45 ERA), who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of his one-hit shutout against the Angels, starts Tuesday’s opener in Kansas City. RHP Johnny Cueto (9-9, 2.94) goes for the Royals.
Blue Jays: LHP David Price (13-4, 2.42 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against Cleveland. Price is 4-0 in five starts with Toronto. RHP Danny Salazar (11-7, 3.30) will start for the Indians.
- Detroit Tigers
- Edwin Encarnación
- FOX Sports Detroit
- Josh Donaldson
- Kevin Pillar
- Mark Buehrle
- Russell Martin
- Toronto Blue Jays