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Downs, Catalanotto too much for struggling Tigers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Scott Downs didn't have any trouble against the Detroit Tigers despite being left-handed.

Downs and two relievers combined on a two-hitter to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory over the struggling Tigers on Thursday. Detroit entered the game batting an AL-best .301 against left-handers.

"He pitched great. I kind of see why he got traded for me," said Rondell White, who was sent by Montreal to the Chicago Cubs for Downs in 2000. White was in his eighth big league season while Downs was a rookie at the time of the deal.

Downs (1-2) retired 13 straight before White spoiled his one-hit shutout bid with a home run over the left-field wall to start the eighth inning.

The 29-year-old left-hander, who is only in Toronto's rotation because ace Roy Halladay and left-hander Ted Lilly are hurt, allowed one run on two hits. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter in seven-plus innings for his first victory since shutting out the Cubs while he was with Montreal on Sept. 8, 2004.

"This is a big victory for us because we leave here on a positive note," said Downs, whose team begins a 13-game road trip in Baltimore on Friday.

Jason Frasor got two outs in the eighth, and Miguel Batista pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 20th save in 24 chances.

Frank Catalanotto hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays, who outhit the Tigers 4-2.

"I threw a lot of strikes early," said Downs, who threw 89 pitches. "I got my pitch count down. When I missed my pitches, I missed down."

Vance Wilson singled to left in the third for Detroit's only other hit. The game took just 2 hours, 4 minutes.

"Scott is a classic left-hander. He's got a good feel for pitching and he showed it today," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

The (59-55) Blue Jays began the day in third place in the AL East, eight games behind first-place Boston.

Gibbons said their road trip is key to their chances.

"It's a big road trip and a tough road trip," Gibbons said. "We're on the fringe of doing one thing or another, either hanging in this thing or going the other way."

Toronto took three of four from Detroit after losing the opener.

The Tigers have lost six of seven and 11 of 14, falling to a season-worst eight games below .500 (53-61).

Jeremy Bonderman (13-8) lost his third straight start despite pitching a four-hitter for his third complete game of the season. Bonderman walked the first batter he faced, Russ Adams, before Catalanotto homered into the first row of the second deck in right field.

Bonderman didn't want to talk about his struggles in the first inning.

"I don't want to talk about first innings. I want to talk about the game," He said. "I made one bad pitch and I got beat."

The 22-year-old right-hander allowed two runs, while striking out eight and walking three.

"The other guy on the other side pitched better than me. I tip my hat to the guy," Bonderman said. "He was on his game."

Notes

Detroit C Ivan Rodriguez served the last game of his four-game suspension for arguing with an umpire. ... The Blue Jays didn't start CF Vernon Wells because they wanted to rest him. He entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement. ... Lilly said he felt fine after throwing off the mound for the first time since going on the DL with biceps tendinitis.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Detroit

J. Bonderman
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 3
K 8
Toronto

F. Catalanotto
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Detroit Tigers
Placido Polanco, 2B4000013 .327
Omar Infante, SS4000020 .231
Dmitri Young, 1B-RF4000010 .262
Magglio Ordonez, DH4000000 .296
Rondell White, LF2111010 .312
Craig Monroe, RF-CF3000001 .286
Brandon Inge, 3B3000001 .263
Vance Wilson, C2010000 .151
Nook Logan, CF2000001 .270
   a- Chris Shelton, PH-1B0000100 .318
Totals28121156 
a-walked for Logan in the 8th
Batting
HR - Rondell White (11, Downs)
RBI - Rondell White (50)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Brandon Inge (17, Wild throw)
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman (L,13-9) 8422381 3.96
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 117-78
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 9-6
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 30
Toronto Blue Jays
Russ Adams, SS3110100 .274
Frank Catalanotto, LF3112010 .295
    Vernon Wells, CF1000001 .286
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B4010001 .296
Corey Koskie, DH3000021 .246
Gregg Zaun, C2000100 .267
Alex Rios, RF3010011 .285
Eric Hinske, 1B2000111 .249
Reed Johnson, CF-LF3000022 .277
Orlando Hudson, 2B3000010 .262
Totals27242387 
Batting
2B - Russ Adams (17, Bonderman), Alex Rios (21, Bonderman)
HR - Frank Catalanotto (6, Bonderman)
RBI - Frank Catalanotto 2 (35)
CS - Eric Hinske (4, 2nd base by Bonderman/V. Wilson)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Hillenbrand-Hudson-Hinske
Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Downs (W,1-2) 7211041 5.02
Jason Frasor (H,9) 0.2000100 4.21
Miguel Batista (S,20) 1.1000010 2.84
HBP - R. White (by Scott Downs), V. Wilson (by Jason Frasor)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Downs 89-52, Jason Frasor 18-12, Miguel Batista 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Downs 10-6
Batters Faced - Scott Downs 23, Jason Frasor 4, Miguel Batista 4
Game Information
Attendance - 30578
Game Time - 2:04
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Tim McClelland