TORONTO -- Josh Towers turned a chorus of boos into a standing ovation.
"He was outstanding today against a good lineup," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "Tip your hat to the kid. He needed that and we needed that."
Towers (1-1) posted his first win as a starter since last May 14 at Tampa Bay. He began last season 0-9, finishing 2-10 with an 8.42 ERA.
"It's been a long road for him the last year," Gibbons said. "He did it the right way today. That should go a long way to improving his confidence."
On Sunday, the 30-year-old right-hander allowed one unearned run, walked one, struck out four and retired 12 straight batters between the second and seventh innings. He was booed twice by Toronto fans in the first two innings but walked off to a cheers from the crowd of 25, 983.
"I haven't done much here lately to get cheered, especially last year," said Towers, adding that he won without his best stuff.
"Truthfully, I didn't really feel that good with my stuff today," he said. "We shied away from the change-up and the curveball because it really wasn't doing anything, kind of just stayed with the fastball and slider. Zaunie (catcher Gregg Zaun) did a great job of mixing it up and calling the right game when he knew my game wasn't really there."
McDonald broke a 1-1 tie with a two-out single that brought in Royce Clayton, who ran through third base coach Brian Butterfield's stop sign and scored without a play at the plate. Gary Sheffield's throw from right was cut off by first baseman Sean Casey, who thought he had McDonald hung up between first and second.
"I got a good jump, I knew it was going to fall in," said Clayton. "By the time I got to (Buterfield) it was too late. I'd pretty much made up my mind."
Shaun Marcum worked a perfect ninth for his first career save.
"I had a lot more adrenaline today," Marcum said. "I couldn't locate my fastball for anything, I was so fired up. My heart was beating a thousand miles an hour."
The game didn't start well for Towers. Curtis Granderson led off with a single and Sheffield was hit by a pitch. Towers first heard boos when he tried to pick Granderson off at second but his throw hit Granderson in the back and rolled into the outfield, allowing Granderson to score the game's first run.
In the second, Towers nearly got himself into more trouble when he forgot how many outs there were. With Sean Casey at first after a one-out walk, Towers speared a comebacker from Craig Monroe but never looked at second for the double play, firing the ball to first instead. The crowd booed again, but Towers escaped unharmed by striking out Brandon Inge.
"You can't forget how many outs there are," Towers said. "You can make physical mistakes but you can't make mental mistakes like that."
Frank Thomas doubled to begin the Toronto second and went to third on a single by Lyle Overbay. Adam Lind scored Thomas with a two-out single to center but Overbay was thrown out at the plate by Granderson.
Nate Robertson (2-1) lost for the first time in three starts, allowing two runs and seven hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out five.
"Nate did more than just give us a chance," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "We just didn't get our bats going."
- Before the game, the Blue Jays put closer B.J. Ryan on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left elbow and purchased the contract of right-hander Jaime Vermilyea from Triple-A Syracuse.
- Detroit outfielder Craig Monroe was a late scratch because of flu-like symptoms.
- Magglio Ordonez played designated hitter for the Tigers instead of the outfield because of a gash on his lower leg caused by a broken bat during Saturday's game.