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Wells' slam enough for Toronto, Blue Jays win third straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Kenny Rogers didn't blame himself that the first three hitters reached base in third inning.

It was the fourth batter he wasn't happy about.

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After Toronto had loaded the bases on a walk, a bunt and a bad-hop grounder, Rogers gave up a grand slam to Vernon Wells. Those were the Blue Jays' only runs in a 4-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.

"That inning was unfortunate in a lot of ways," said Rogers, who lost his fourth straight start. "No one really did anything wrong -- I just wish I could have gotten that pitch to Vernon down a little more."

The grand slam and six shutout innings from David Purcey helped Toronto win their third straight, all in Detroit.

The Tigers have lost 10 of 13.

"This is dangerous, because we're doing just enough to lose right now," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's not good. We have to start doing the things that it takes to win."

Purcey (2-3) ended a two-start losing streak, giving up two singles and three walks. He struck out four, and has allowed one earned run in 10 1/3 innings against the Tigers this season.

"I felt really good out there," the rookie said. "I didn't throw enough strikes early, but I started to relax about the fourth inning. That's when I started making the pitches I wanted."

Marco Scutaro led off Toronto's third with a walk, and David Eckstein bunted down the first-base line. Rogers and first baseman Miguel Cabrera both started for the ball, and Eckstein beat Cabrera to the base.

Alex Rios followed with a hard grounder to third that skipped up and almost hit Ramon Santiago in the face.

"You get a walk, an aggravating bunt, and then a double play grounder that takes a bad hop," Leyland said. "Kenny did very well tonight, but we've been getting bad hops lately."

Wells followed with his fifth career grand slam, a fly ball just over the glove of left fielder Ryan Raburn.

The Tigers didn't get a hit until Santiago's single with two outs in the fifth, and only got one runner into scoring position against Purcey.

"He did an outstanding job," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "He just has to work on getting first-pitch strikes and getting ahead of hitters."

The game was delayed by rain for 49 minutes in the top of the seventh inning, and neither starting pitcher returned after play resumed.

After getting only two hits in the first eight innings, the Tigers put together some offense in the ninth.

Placido Polanco started the inning with a walk, and Magglio Ordonez followed with a single. Blue Jays reliever Scott Downs had to leave the game after spraining his right ankle while backing up third base on the play.

"I didn't want to go out there and see a bone sticking out of his leg," Gaston said. "He'll be reassessed in a couple days, but if he can't pitch, it will be a big loss for the team."

Brandon League came in and allowed an RBI groundout to Cabrera, and Matt Joyce followed with a fly ball to deep right-center that Rios dropped for a two-base error.

Raburn struck out, but Edgar Renteria made it 4-3 with a double to right-center before League struck out Brandon Inge for his first save of the season.

Tigers DH Gary Sheffield was ejected by home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth after flipping his bat following a called third strike in the seventh inning.

Notes

  • The Tigers placed RHP Joel Zumaya (shoulder) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Francis Beltran from Triple-A Toledo.
  • Sheffield said before the game that he wasn't concerned about media reports that the Tigers put him on waivers on Tuesday. "I don't pay attention to it -- I've been on waivers plenty of times," he said. "Lots of great players are put on waivers but it is only a story when it is someone like Manny Ramirez or me -- someone that people have an opinion about."
  • Downs had his scoreless streak snapped at 17 2/3 innings.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Toronto's Vernon Wells enjoys a jog around the bases after hitting his fifth career grand slam.  (AP)
Toronto's Vernon Wells enjoys a jog around the bases after hitting his fifth career grand slam. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

V. Wells
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Detroit

E. Renteria
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, 3B4100100 .255
David Eckstein, 2B4130100 .274
Alex Rios, CF5110003 .280
Vernon Wells, DH3114102 .290
Rod Barajas, C4000002 .257
Adam Lind, LF3010120 .301
Lyle Overbay, 1B3000112 .265
Kevin Mench, RF4000013 .222
John McDonald, SS4010001 .214
Totals3447454  
Batting
2B - David Eckstein (18, Rogers)
HR - Vernon Wells (10, Rogers)
RBI - Vernon Wells 4 (49)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-McDonald-Overbay
E - Alex Rios (4, Dropped fly)
Toronto Blue Jays
David Purcey (W,2-3) 6200340 5.93
Jason Frasor 2000010 3.29
Scott Downs0121100 1.40
Brandon League (S,1) 1110020 2.29
Pitches-Strikes - David Purcey 99-56, Jason Frasor 25-18, Scott Downs 8-4, Brandon League 17-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Purcey 4-9, Jason Frasor 1-4, Brandon League 1-1
Batters Faced - David Purcey 22, Jason Frasor 6, Scott Downs 2, Brandon League 5
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000001 .295
Placido Polanco, 2B2100200 .312
Magglio Ordonez, RF4120010 .319
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4001012 .293
Gary Sheffield, DH2000110 .222
   a- Matt Joyce, PH-DH1100000 .268
Ryan Raburn, LF4000013 .244
Edgar Renteria, SS3012110 .262
Brandon Inge, C4000022 .218
Ramon Santiago, 3B3010000 .328
Totals3134347  
a-flied out for Sheffield in the 9th
Batting
2B - Edgar Renteria (15, League)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (91), Edgar Renteria 2 (40)
2-OUT RBI - Edgar Renteria 2 (15)
SB - Placido Polanco (6, 2nd base off Purcey/Barajas)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Raburn 1
E - Ramon Santiago (4, Misplayed grounder(With the count 3-2,))
Detroit Tigers
Kenny Rogers (L,8-10) 6.1744321 4.95
Francis Beltran 2.2000220 3.68
WP - Francis Beltran (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 95-55, Francis Beltran 33-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenny Rogers 8-9, Francis Beltran 4-2
Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 29, Francis Beltran 10
Game Information
Attendance - 39073
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom