DETROIT (AP) — John Hicks’ two-run single in the eighth inning broke open a tie game and the Detroit Tigers went on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 on Saturday.
Miguel Cabrera singled off Seunghwan Oh (1-1) with one out in the eighth, and was replaced by pinch-runner Victor Reyes. Victor Martinez followed with a ground-rule double to left-center and Ronny Rodriguez ran for him.
The Blue Jays intentionally walked Niko Goodrum to load the bases, bringing up Hicks. After striking out in his first three at-bats, he fouled off the first five pitches before looping a two-run single over the head of second baseman Devon Travis.
JaCoby Jones added a sacrifice fly to make it a three-run game.
Louis Coleman (3-0) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth inning while Joe Jimenez pitched the ninth for his first career save. Detroit has won four straight and six of seven.
The Blue Jays, who led 2-1 and 4-2, lost their fifth straight.
Neither starting pitcher was involved in the decision. Detroit’s Matthew Boyd allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in seven innings, while J.A. Happ gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in five innings.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on the second pitch of the first inning, with Jeimer Candelario hitting the first lead-off homer of his career in his second game as a lead-off hitter.
Yangervis Solarte’s double past a diving Goodrum tied the game with one out in the third, and Justin Smoak followed with an RBI single to put Toronto up 2-1.
Nicholas Castellanos tied the game with a double in the bottom of the third, but Luke Maile and Solarte made it 4-2 with solo homers in the fifth.
Once again, Happ couldn’t hold the lead. Dixon Machado’s RBI double pulled the Tigers within 4-3, and he scored on Castellanos’ second game-tying hit in three innings.
Detroit’s three-run eighth inning came moments after the Tigers debuted a “Rally Goose” video, and the fans broke into a chant of “Goose! Goose!” after Hicks’ tie-breaking single and again at the end of the game. Detroit is now 4-0 since a Canada Goose crashed into a third-deck scoreboard while trying to escape the stadium. The goose was treated by veterinarians and released into the wild Friday morning,
Blue Jays: LF Teoscar Hernandez left the game with a left-foot injury in the third inning. Hernandez fouled a pitch off his left foot in the top of the inning, and while he finished his at-bat, Curtis Granderson replaced him in left field for the bottom of the third. X-rays were negative.
Tigers: 1B Cabrera played for a second straight day after returning from a hamstring injury. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire will let Cabrera decide when he needs a day off.
The teams finish the three-game series Sunday afternoon, with Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez (2-5, 4.77) facing Detroit’s Michael Fulmer (2-4, 4.60).
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