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Detroit at Toronto

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Detroit (46-38) «20200302211160
Toronto (41-44)000000001161

Verlander dominates Jays; Tigers' Jackson gets four hits

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Justin Verlander didn't deliver another no-hitter. Still, he was encouraged about some minor fixes to his mechanics.

Verlander pitched seven shutout innings, Austin Jackson hit a two-run homer and the Detroit Tigers routed the slumping Toronto Blue Jays 11-1 on Thursday night.

Verlander (9-5) allowed three hits, all singles, while winning for the first time since June 7 at Cleveland.

"He threw exceptionally well," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He looked like he was in command the whole game."

It was Verlander's first start in Toronto since he pitched his second career no-hitter on May 7, 2011. He acknowledged thinking back to that game as he set down the first 11 batters, but his no-hit hopes ended with Edwin Encarnacion's two-out single in the fourth.

"That was an impressive outing for him," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "I definitely think he figured some things out."

Verlander started for the second time since tweaking his shoulder angle, a flaw identified by pitching coach Jeff Jones.

"I feel like Jeff and I have identified what was kind of the kink in the chain," Verlander said. "It's just a matter making that feel comfortable, making my delivery feel comfortable the right way."

Jackson went 4 for 5 with a walk and scored four times as the Tigers pounded out 16 hits while playing without achy slugger Miguel Cabrera.

"He's the table setter, he's the engine that makes this team go," Hunter said of Jackson. "I definitely think you're talking about one of the best center fielders in the game, offensively and defensively. I'm impressed."

Hunter had three RBI and Prince Fielder drove in a pair of runs as the Tigers won for the ninth time in 11 meetings with Toronto.

Phil Coke pitched the eighth and Darin Downs yielded an RBI single to Maicer Izturis in the ninth.

The Blue Jays lost for the eighth time in 11 games since matching a franchise record with an 11-game winning streak.

"That feels like a long time ago," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Cabrera was held out of the lineup with a sore back. It was the first day off this season for Cabrera, the reigning AL Triple Crown winner who leads the major leagues with a .364 batting average. He also has 26 home runs and a major-league-leading 85 RBI.

"He's the best hitter on the planet," Hunter said. "You want him in the lineup."

Cabrera has been bothered by back soreness for the past two days, leaving in the ninth inning each game. Thursday marked Detroit's seventh consecutive game on artificial turf.

Also out for Detroit was second baseman Omar Infante. He was knocked out in the fourth inning Wednesday with a bruised left shin after a hard slide at second base by Toronto's Colby Rasmus.

"He's better than he was yesterday but he's sore," said Leyland, adding that Infante is day-to-day.

Ramon Santiago started at second and Don Kelly was at third.

The Tigers jumped all over Esmil Rogers in the first inning. Jackson singled on the first pitch of the game and scored two pitches later on a double by Andy Dirks. One out later, Fielder drove in Dirks with an RBI single.

Detroit got two more in the third on RBI doubles by Hunter and Jhonny Peralta, and then chased Rogers (3-4) in a three-run sixth.

Neil Wagner came on after Rogers gave up three straight hits to start the inning, including an RBI single by Jackson. Hunter hit a sacrifice fly and Fielder drove in a run with an infield single.

Rogers allowed season worsts of seven runs and 11 hits. He walked two and struck out four.

Toronto starters have allowed at least six runs in each of the past three games.

Jackson connected against Wagner in the eighth, hitting a drive to center for his fifth home run.

Notes

  • Encarnacion returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sore left hamstring.
  • Toronto SS Jose Reyes left after eight innings.
  • Verlander had a career-worst five consecutive winless starts in 2008.
  • Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie (left ankle) played his first rehab game with Class A Lansing. He went 0 for 3 before leaving after six innings.
  • The Tigers optioned OF Avisail Garcia to Triple-A Toledo and will activate OF Matt Tuiasosopo (left ribcage strain) off the DL on Friday.
 
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Torii Hunter, who winds up with three RBI, gets congratulated by Tigers teammates after scoring in the third inning.  (USATSI)
Torii Hunter, who winds up with three RBI, gets congratulated by Tigers teammates after scoring in the third inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Detroit

A. Jackson
AB 5
R 4
H 4
HR 1
RBI 3
Detroit

J. Verlander
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
 
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5443111 .296
Andy Dirks, LF3112300 .242
Torii Hunter, RF4123003 .303
Prince Fielder, 1B5022126 .270
Victor Martinez, DH5010014 .235
Jhonny Peralta, SS5011024 .307
Alex Avila, C5000013 .177
Ramon Santiago, 2B5220010 .169
Don Kelly, 3B4330000 .240
Totals4111161158  
Batting
2B - Andy Dirks (6, Rogers), Torii Hunter (21, Rogers), Jhonny Peralta (22, Rogers), Ramon Santiago (4, Janssen), Don Kelly (4, Wagner)
HR - Austin Jackson (5, Wagner)
SF - Torii Hunter 2 (4)
RBI - Austin Jackson 3 (21), Andy Dirks 2 (23), Torii Hunter 3 (35), Prince Fielder 2 (65), Jhonny Peralta (38)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder (30), Jhonny Peralta (14)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Verlander-Peralta-Fielder
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Verlander (W,9-5) 7300250 3.54
Phil Coke 1100000 6.04
Darin Downs 1211020 4.78
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 102-68, Phil Coke 6-5, Darin Downs 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 6-9, Phil Coke 2-1, Darin Downs 1-0
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 25, Phil Coke 4, Darin Downs 5
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Reyes, SS3010000 .329
    Emilio Bonifacio, 2B1000001 .209
Jose Bautista, RF4000012 .261
Edwin Encarnacion, DH2010110 .271
    Josh Thole, PH-DH1110000 .133
Adam Lind, 1B4000033 .316
Colby Rasmus, CF4000000 .245
Maicer Izturis, 3B4021000 .233
Rajai Davis, LF3000121 .298
J.P. Arencibia, C3010001 .217
Munenori Kawasaki, 2B-SS3000003 .220
Totals3216127  
a-singled for Encarnacion in the 9th
Batting
RBI - Maicer Izturis (21)
2-OUT RBI - Maicer Izturis (10)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Reyes-Kawasaki-Lind
E - Colby Rasmus (2, Dropped line drive)
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Esmil Rogers (L,3-4) 51177240 3.84
Neil Wagner 2422121 3.24
Darren Oliver 1000020 3.24
Casey Janssen 0.1122200 2.67
Aaron Loup 0.2000000 1.88
WP - Esmil Rogers (4)
HBP - Kelly (by Casey Janssen)
Pitches-Strikes - Esmil Rogers 94-56, Neil Wagner 39-25, Darren Oliver 11-8, Casey Janssen 23-11, Aaron Loup 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esmil Rogers 7-4, Neil Wagner 2-2, Casey Janssen 1-0, Aaron Loup 1-1
Batters Faced - Esmil Rogers 28, Neil Wagner 11, Darren Oliver 3, Casey Janssen 5, Aaron Loup 2
Game Information
Attendance - 35978
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Mike Estabrook