Carlos Villanueva might not make things easy on them.
Porcello looks to match his longest road winning streak Friday night when he starts opposite Villanueva in the opener of a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Detroit (53-46) has won 14 of 18 but has split six road games during that stretch. The Tigers opened a nine-game road trip by dropping two of three at Cleveland, capping the series with Thursday's 5-3 defeat.
They fell a half-game behind Chicago for the AL Central lead.
Detroit is expected to turn to Porcello (7-5, 4.40 ERA) in an attempt to regain first place, and he's won three road starts in a row behind a 2.50 ERA.
The right-hander won a career-high four straight road games as a rookie from May 10-June 18, 2009.
The Tigers have won each of the last five games Porcello has started - he's 3-0 during that stretch - and he turned in a dazzling performance in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the White Sox. He yielded one run and five hits with no walks over eight-plus innings while outpitching All-Star Chris Sale and falling just short of his first complete game.
"Personally, you want to go the distance; that's a big thing for a pitcher, and that's a hard thing to do," Porcello told the team's official website. "To be able to throw a complete game would be nice, but we got the win and I'm pretty happy about that, too."
He's 2-2 with a 3.75 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays (49-49) but hasn't faced them since 2010.
Similar to Porcello, Villanueva (5-0, 2.86) being on the mound has meant wins for his team.
Toronto has won all four games he's started since inserting the right-hander into the rotation due to a slew of injuries. The veteran reliever has gone 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA in that span.
Villanueva came up big again Saturday, allowing three runs in the second inning before shutting down Boston for the next 4 1-3 frames as Toronto rallied for a 7-3 victory.
"It was kind of a test, keeping the game within reach and letting our guys come back and score that one run," Villanueva told the team's official website. "The fact that I was able to keep the game close and come back is what really matters."
He has no record and a 2.60 ERA in four games versus the Tigers, and his only start against them came with the Brewers in 2007.
Villanueva will try to get the Blue Jays back above .500 after they beat Oakland 10-4 on Thursday following defeats in the first two of that series.
Encarnacion is hitting .353 with four homers and 12 RBIs in the past 11 games after connecting for a three-run shot Thursday. He's reached 70 RBIs for the first time since getting a career-high 76 with Cincinnati in 2007, and his 27 homers match Bautista for the team lead.
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera isn't far behind with 24, while his 82 RBIs are the most in the majors. He went 0 for 4 on Thursday after hitting .362 with six homers in his first 12 games after the All-Star break.
He was 1 for 14 in the Tigers' most recent series in Toronto from May 6-9, 2011, but Detroit won three of four.
|July 07, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|July 02, 2012||Max Scherzer||Day-to-Day||Left hamstring soreness|
|June 25, 2012||Alex Avila||Day-to-Day||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 19, 2012||Jose Valverde||Day-to-Day||Right wrist|
|June 11, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Severe blister, left middle finger|
|June 11, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Severe blister, left middle finger|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|July 26, 2012||Joel Carreno||15-Day DL|
|July 26, 2012||J.P. Arencibia||15-Day DL||Broken right hand|
|July 25, 2012||J.P. Arencibia||Day-to-Day||Broken right hand|
|July 17, 2012||Jason Frasor||15-Day DL||Right forearm tightness|
|July 17, 2012||Jose Bautista||15-Day DL||Left wrist inflammation|
|July 16, 2012||Jose Bautista||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left wrist injury|
TORONTO (AP) -- Detroit manager Jim Leyland said the offense didn't do enough. Starter Rick Porcello felt his pitching wasn't up to par. Either way, the Tigers came up short against a team on the fringes of the playoff race, and no one was happy about it.
Carlos Villanueva won his fourth straight start, Travis Snider hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tigers 8-3 on Friday night.
"We've got to do a better job of shutting the door on some of these teams that we're more than capable of doing," Porcello said, referring both to his own effort and Justin Verlander 's loss at Cleveland on Thursday.
Jeff Mathis drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double and Omar Vizquel had two hits as Toronto won for the fifth time in seven games.
"Carlos pitched a great game, everybody contributed," Vizquel said. "Mathis got the big shot that got everybody home and we got something going there. The rest was up to the bullpen, who did a great job."
Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit back-to-back homers for Detroit in the first inning but the Tigers lost for the third time in four games.
"We haven't swung the bats good the last few days," Leyland grumbled. "We didn't swing the bats good in Cleveland and we didn't swing the bats good again here tonight."
Cabrera's homer was his 25th, and raised his major league-leading RBI total to 83. For Fielder, the homer was his 16th.
Detroit has won nine of 14 since the All-Star break but is just 3-4 away from home in that time.
Rick Porcello (7-6) failed to extend his road winning streak to four games, allowing five runs and six hits in six innings. Porcello, who won a career-best four straight road games as a rookie in 2009, walked two and struck out one in his first road defeat since June 8 at Cincinnati.
Villanueva (6-0) saw both Cabrera and Fielder go deep over a three-pitch span in the first inning, but didn't give up another run. Unbeaten in five starts since joining Toronto's rotation after 22 relief appearances, the right-hander allowed four hits in five innings, walked two and struck out three.
"We felt like we had a shot at him, we just didn't do anything," Leyland said. "He shut us down pretty good the rest of the game."
Outfielder Quintin Berry credited Villanueva for mixing well after the shaky first.
"Everybody knows he's got many pitches he can throw and he was throwing them all," Berry said. "We were doing a good job of trying to wait him out but he's got good stuff."
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Villanueva has done a good job of keeping the Blue Jays close in all of his outings as a starter, never allowing more than three runs.
"What he has shown repeatedly is that he is going to keep the game under control," Farrell said. "He sets the tone, he throws strikes and is capable of making the key pitch in tough situations."
Aaron Loup worked 1 1-3 innings, Brandon Lyon got two outs, Darren Oliver gave up Fielder's RBI single in the eighth and Casey Janssen finished.
Toronto cut Detroit's early lead in half with a run in the bottom of the first. Vizquel doubled, his first extra-base hit of the season, and scored on Edwin Encarnacion 's two-out single.
The Blue Jays took the lead with a four-run fourth, loading the bases with a single and two walks before Mathis hit a two-out double just beyond the reach of Berry in left, scoring all three runners.
"He was one pitch away from getting out of that inning and he hung a slider to Mathis that cleared the bases," Leyland said.
Berry came close to making the catch, but wasn't able to run it down in time.
"I thought I had a good shot at it," he said, "and it just kept going and started tailing away from me and I couldn't quite get to it."
Porcello was particularly disappointed at his failure to retire Mathis.
"I got the right-handed hitter up that I wanted up there and just didn't make a good pitch to him and got burned," Porcello said. "That ended up being the difference."
Anthony Gose followed with a bad-hop single that eluded Fielder, giving the rookie outfielder his first career RBI.
After Yan Gomes reached on a throwing error by second baseman Omar Infante in the eighth, Snider followed with a blast to right-center, his third in five games.
NOTES: Vizquel matched Pete Rose as the second-oldest players to hit a triple at 45 years, 94 days. Julio Franco (46 years, 309 days) is the oldest. ... The speedy Gose followed his first RBI with his first career stolen base. ... Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar and DH Adam Lind were scratched with back soreness. Vizquel made his third straight start in Escobar's place, while Encarnacion moved to DH and Gomes took over at 1B. ... Toronto RHP Drew Hutchison (elbow) played catch Friday for the first time since injuring his arm six weeks ago, making about 30 throws from 45 feet. ... Blue Jays RHP Brandon Morrow (left oblique) threw a bullpen session Friday and remains on track to make his first minor league rehab start Sunday, a two-inning stint at Class-A Dunedin. ... Detroit's last visit to Toronto was in May, 2011, a series that saw Justin Verlander throw his second career no-hitter. ... RHP Anibal Sanchez , acquired from Miami this week, makes his Tigers debut Saturday afternoon against Blue Jays RHP Henderson Alvarez .