After coughing up a ninth-inning lead to lose on Friday, manager John Gibbons said he was hoping for a little more late-inning magic out of the Blue Jays
One day later, he got it.
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Nolan Reimold hit a game-winning double in the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied past the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Saturday, spoiling Max Scherzer’s bid to become the first 14-game winner in the American League.
"It was a great day all the way around," Gibbons said. "It was really the only way to end it."
A pair of midseason pickups played key roles in the comeback. Danny Valencia singled off Joba Chamberlain to begin the 10th and Reimold followed with a double to the wall as Valencia scored without a play.
Blue Jays rookie right-hander Marcus Stroman rallied after allowing a season-high five runs in a loss at Houston last week. Stroman allowed two runs and four hits in a career-high nine innings. He walked three and struck out four.
"I was able to stay in the zone and make quality pitches, use my sinker to get outs," Stroman said.
Aaron Loup (4-3) worked one inning for the victory.
Scherzer allowed one run and four hits in eight innings. He walked none and struck out 11, two shy of his season high.
Scherzer struck out pinch-hitters Valencia and Reimold on six pitches to end the eighth, fanning Reimold with a 97 mile per hour fastball.
"He was done at that point," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He kind of emptied the tank on that last hitter."
Scherzer had no interest in stirring controversy over Ausmus’ decision to take him out.
"I’m not going to sit here and play second-guess-the-manager," he said. "I was done."
Chamberlain (1-5) came on to start the 10th after Joakim Soria, who finished the ninth, strained a muscle in his left side while warming up before the inning.
Toronto trailed 2-1 through eight innings but Jose Reyes singled off Tigers closer Joe Nathan to begin the ninth, then stole second before advancing to third on Melky Cabrera’s flyball to right. Jose Bautista was intentionally walked to bring up Dioner Navarro, who grounded a tying single past a diving Miguel Cabrera at first base.
A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Colby Rasmus walked to load the bases, bringing Soria out of the bullpen to replace Nathan, who blew his sixth save in 30 chances.
Soria sent it to extra innings by getting Juan Francisco to pop up on the first pitch, then retiring Munenori Kawasaki on a groundball.
Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the sixth on a two-out double by Victor Martinez, but Toronto cut the deficit to one in the bottom half on a two-out double by Cabera.
Blue Jays: First baseman Edwin Encarnacion (right quadriceps) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday night with Class-A Dunedin, Gibbons said, while first baseman Adam Lind (right foot) is scheduled to rejoin the team Monday in Seattle.
Tigers: Right-hander Luke Putkonen (elbow) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday at Detroit’s spring training facility in Florida. It was the first time Putkonen had thrown from the mound since undergoing surgery in June.
Left-hander David Price makes his second start for the Tigers Sunday in a battle of southpaws, going up against Toronto’s Mark Buehrle. Price struck out 10 in 8 2/3 innings to win his Detroit debut last week. Buehrle is 1-7 with a 4.73 ERA since June 7.
THE MELKY WAY
Cabrera had two hits and now has 44 multihit games this season, tied for second most in the majors. His 150 total hits are second only to Houston’s Jose Altuve, who leads the majors with 158.
A group of students from a suburban Toronto high school built a robot that was intended to throw out the first pitch to Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole. Unfortunately, the robot misfired, and the pitch only traveled a few feet before rolling to a stop in front of the mound.