TORONTO — The Detroit Tigers will be trying to avoid making more history Sunday afternoon when they face the Toronto Blue Jays on Canada Day at the Rogers Centre.
After Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak smacked a 1-0 fastball from Joe Jimenez for his second career walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday Authentic Dante Pettis Jersey
, the Tigers have lost 11 games in a row.
The last time the Tigers put together a losing streak like that was 2003. On Sunday, in the third contest of the four-game series, the Tigers will be trying to avoid dipping deeper into their history by losing 12 in a row for the first time since 1996.
The Tigers will start right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 4.35 ERA) against Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (10-3, 3.62).
Saturday looked promising for the Tigers when they took a 3-0 lead in the third inning, but the Blue Jays came back to tie in the fifth.
Both Toronto wins in the series have been by one run.
“Honestly, nobody wants to play extra innings,” Smoak said. “To be able to do it in the ninth and get it over with is always a good feeling.”
The Tigers would beg to differ. They would have been happy to try their luck in extra innings if that’s what it takes to end their funk.
“We’re all trying hard,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Everybody’s trying. We tried all kinds of things today to try to make this happen. And we were in the game again and ultimately we lose the ballgame.”
The Blue Jays have dominated the Tigers at the Rogers Centre in recent years, winning 12 of their past 14 meetings.
There could be times when it seems as if the Tigers might be trying a little too hard to make things happen and then paying for it. First baseman John Hicks, who hit his seventh home run of the season in the second inning Saturday, was not so sure that is the case.
“I don’t think guys are trying to do anything more than we’ve been trying to do all year,” he said. “We’re in a losing streak Authentic Vita Vea Jersey
, but we’re going out every day playing the same way we’ve been playing all year. But when you are losing, things get magnified.”
Losing a close game or a lopsided one does not matter, Hicks said, adding “A loss is a loss.
“They all stink, every loss is frustrating. It just happens to be in a losing streak, so it happens to magnify things more. We’ve had opportunities to win pretty much every ballgame we’ve lost.”
The task Sunday falls to Zimmermann, who will make his 10th start of the season.
Despite pitching five scoreless innings Monday against the Oakland Athletics, Zimmermann did not factor in the decision, He allowed four hits and three walks and struck out three.
In three career starts against the Blue Jays, Zimmermann is 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA. This will be his first start against Toronto since June 8, 2016, when he took the loss, giving up seven runs and eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. He will be making his first career start at the Rogers Centre.
Happ has not lost since May 10. In his eight starts since Authentic Ronald Jones II Jersey
, he is 6-0 with a 2.60 ERA. One of the no-decisions came June 2 in Detroit when he allowed four runs and had eight strikeouts against the Tigers in five innings.
In nine career games (eight starts) against the Tigers, he is 3-1 with a 4.10 ERA.
The Blue Jays lead the season series between the teams 3-2. Two games are left.
Both teams had injuries to relief pitchers Saturday. The Blue Jays put Ryan Tepera on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow and recalled Jake Petricka from Triple-A Buffalo.
Tigers reliever Alex Wilson left the game — and was replaced by Jimenez — in the eighth inning with a strained left calf. He is listed as day to day.
The only thing that would have made Brandon Crawford feel better about his game-ending homer was if it had come early enough to reward Madison Bumgarner with a win.
Crawford homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth after Bumgarner threw seven scoreless innings, giving the San Francisco Giants their fourth straight victory, 1-0 over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
”It would have been nice to get him a win,” Crawford said. ”He pitched well enough that he should have gotten one. … He looked like vintage Bum out there. He had everything working. His slider has been a lot sharper his last couple of outings, his curveball is looking a lot better and he’s locating stuff.”
Colorado starter Kyle Freeland matched Bumgarner with seven spotless innings of his own, setting the stage for Crawford’s dramatic shot.
Left-hander Harrison Musgrave (0-3) entered in the ninth to face the left-handed-hitting Crawford. The move backfired when Crawford launched a high drive that cleared the wall in right field for his third career walk-off homer, sending the Rockies to their fourth consecutive loss.
”It just kind of kept to the middle,” Musgrave said. ”Good hitters hit it out of the park and that’s what happened. Just didn’t execute a pitch and you get punished up here for stuff like that.”
Crawford was mobbed by teammates at home plate as the Giants improved to 42-39 at the halfway point of the season. That’s 12 games ahead of their pace from a year ago despite playing the first two months without an injured Bumgarner.
”You always want more,” Bumgarner said. ”But the spot we’re in now is not a bad place to be.”
Reyes Moronta (4-1) got two outs for the win.
Bumgarner retired the first 14 batters he faced before Carlos Gonzalez became the first Colorado hitter to reach, on a broken-bat double that landed just inside the left-field line.
Bumgarner walked the next two batters to load the bases before escaping the jam by striking out Freeland. The 2014 World Series MVP allowed just two hits with eight strikeouts in his second consecutive scoreless start. He pitched eight shutout innings to beat San Diego for his first win of the season last Thursday.
Freeland was just as stingy, permitting only four hits and pitching around a pair of errors by first baseman Ian Desmond. Freeland got Pablo Sandoval to ground out with runners on first and third to end the fourth, and retired Crawford on a popup with runners at the corners to end the sixth.
Freeland has 11 quality starts in 16 appearances this season.
”What a great matchup between two lefties Authentic M.J. Stewart Jersey
, one just starting his career and getting his feet on the ground, and Bumgarner, obviously we know what he’s done in his career,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”Really proud of Kyle.”
Rockies: RHP Scott Oberg and LHP Mike Dunn were activated from the disabled list. RHPs Jeff Hoffman and Brooks Pounders were optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder) will likely need at least one more rehab start after lasting just four innings for Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. Samardzija’s outing was cut short because he threw 40 pitches in the first.
WALK IT OFF
Crawford gave the Giants their sixth walk-off homer in a 1-0 win since moving to San Francisco in 1958. The previous one was hit by Steve Decker against Houston in 1991. The others were hit by Bobby Murcer vs. Philadelphia in 1976, Tom Haller in 1967 vs. Pittsburgh, and Willie Mays in 1966 against Houston and 1963 off Warren Spahn in a 16-inning game that Juan Marichal completed against the Milwaukee Braves.
Bumgarner struck out DJ LeMahieu to open the game, giving him 1,500 Ks for his career in 1,534 1/3 innings. He’s the ninth-fastest lefty to reach the mark in the live ball era starting in 1920.
Jon Gray (7-7) looks to beat the Giants for the first time in six career starts in the series finale. Gray is coming off his third career 12-strikeout game, the most in Colorado history. Chris Stratton (8-5) pitches for San Francisco.