Tigers 5, Blue Jays 3

The Detroit Tigers did a lot of their best work with their bats

on their shoulders.

Detroit took advantage of Ricky Romero’s wildness Tuesday night

in a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The Tigers scored

their first two runs on bases-loaded walks, and although they never

really broke the game open with a big hit, they did enough to keep

pace in the AL Central race.

Detroit still trails the first-place Chicago White Sox by two

games.

”This one’s in the book, you turn the page,” Tigers manager

Jim Leyland said. ”That’s what we’ve got to do now – 40 of them

left – got to just play it out and see what happens.”

Max Scherzer struck out eight in seven impressive innings for

Detroit.

Romero (8-11) lost his 10th straight decision, allowing five

runs, seven hits and eight walks in 5 1-3 innings. He didn’t strike

out a batter.

Austin Jackson had three hits. Scherzer (13-6) allowed five

hits, including Edwin Encarnacion’s solo homer. He walked two.

”I know that when I go out there, I know I can be really

good,” Scherzer said. ”I know I can pitch consistently and I know

I can get hitters out. I don’t fear a single hitter in this whole

league. When I bring my `A’ game and I bring my game, I can pitch

well against any team – doesn’t matter who it is.”

Detroit needed three relievers to get through the eighth, when

the Blue Jays scored two runs. Jose Valverde then pitched the ninth

for his 24th save in 28 chances.

Valverde allowed two baserunners but eventually struck out

Encarnacion to end it.

Romero walked six in the first two innings.

”I feel like I’m the one that lost the game,” Romero said.

”It’s baffling. It’s tough. I don’t know how to put it. It’s just

been a frustrating year.”

Romero is 0-10 with a 7.69 ERA in his last 11 starts. He was in

trouble right away in the first inning in this one. Jackson reached

on an infield single and went to second on third baseman Omar

Vizquel’s throwing error. With two outs and a man on third, Romero

walked Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta and Delmon Young to give

Detroit the lead.

In the second, Romero walked Omar Infante with the bases loaded,

and Miguel Cabrera followed with a double-play grounder that

brought home another run to make it 3-0.

”That’s tough when you see a guy missing by that much and

you’re trying to hit against it,” Leyland said. ”You’re saying,

`Well, he’s wild, I don’t want to swing at something bad.’ Then all

of a sudden he throws one that looks good and it runs in on you.

That’s what happened a couple times.”

Encarnacion hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, and at that point,

Romero hadn’t allowed a walk or a run since the second. He couldn’t

keep it up, giving up a walk to Jeff Baker, a single to Andy Dirks

and another walk to Gerald Laird to load the bases.

After Jackson hit into a forceout at the plate, Infante hit a

grounder to first baseman David Cooper, who hesitated and ended up

not getting any out at all.

Romero left the game after that, and Cabrera added a sacrifice

fly off Brad Lincoln to make it 5-1.

Toronto fought back in the eighth with an RBI double by Cooper

and a run-scoring single by Yunel Escobar. Joaquin Benoit came on

with two on and two outs and threw only one pitch, retiring Vizquel

on a popup to end the threat.

NOTES: The last pitcher to walk at least eight batters with no

strikeouts was Colorado’s Greg Reynolds, who walked eight against

Philadelphia on May 28, 2008, according to STATS, LLC. … Detroit

OF Ryan Raburn (sprained right thumb) is slated to join Triple-A

Toledo on Wednesday to start a rehabilitation assignment. …

Scherzer has a career-high 186 strikeouts this year, surpassing his

previous mark of 184 from 2010. … Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez

(1-3) faces Toronto LHP Aaron Laffey (3-4) on Wednesday night.