Perhaps they can provide their No. 2 starters better support.
With Justin Verlander trying to give Detroit (3-3) a third consecutive victory, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner went 7 1/3 shaky innings in Sunday's 7-0 loss to the New York Yankees . The Tigers have scored four times in his two starts.
"You get all those hits yesterday (a season-high 17 in an 8-4 win) and you come back out today and that's why I always emphasize how pitching normally dictates everything," manager Jim Leyland told the TIgers' official website.
That's exactly why the Blue Jays (2-4) retooled their rotation this offseason, with Morrow (0-0, 1.50 ERA) and J.A. Happ their only returning starters. The acquisition of 2012 NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey from New York has yet to pay off, with the club 0-2 in his starts following Sunday's 13-0 loss to Boston. The knuckleballer has surrendered 10 runs, but the Blue Jays have plated one in his outings.
They're batting .223 overall.
"We have a lot of confidence in this ballclub, and like I said, we're going to be fine," Jose Reyes told the Blue Jays' official website. "So there's nothing to worry about."
That's easy for Reyes to say - the former NL batting champ sports a .435 average with one homer and two doubles. It's a different story with Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus , who are a combined 5 for 41 with 16 strikeouts.
Rasmus might start in center fielder after sitting Sunday.
Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter , the team leader among regulars with a .393 batting average, has three consecutive multihit games and five this season.
Hunter, though, was 4 for 24 last season against Toronto while with the Los Angeles Angels . He's 4 for 13 against Morrow, who'll make his first start against Detroit in two seasons after striking out eight in six strong innings of Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Cleveland.
Reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera has one hit - a homer - in five at-bats off the right-hander. Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder , the team leader with two homers and eight RBIs, has never faced Morrow.
Sanchez (0-0, 0.00) will make his first start at Comerica Park since a 2-0 loss to San Francisco in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. The right-hander opened his first full season with the Tigers on Wednesday with five innings of shutout ball in a 3-2 loss to Minnesota."We stuck to the game plan as far as trying to mix pitches and change speeds," said catcher Alex Avila , who could start Tuesday after missing Sunday's game due to the birth of his daughter. "I think as the game went on he got better."
Sanchez went 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts versus Toronto after being acquired from Miami on July 23.
Detroit has won four straight and eight of 11 at home in this series.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|April 04, 2013||Jose Bautista||Day-to-Day||Left game - Twisted ankle|
|March 27, 2013||Dustin McGowan||60-Day DL||Sore right shoulder|
|March 25, 2013||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Strained rib|
|March 22, 2013||Drew Hutchison||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Strained left ribcage|
|March 22, 2013||Michael Schwimer||15-Day DL||Right shoulder strain|
|March 22, 2013||Avisail Garcia||15-Day DL||Bruised right heel|
DETROIT (AP) -- A week into the new year, Miguel Cabrera is already in midseason form.
The reigning AL MVP hit his first homer and drove in four runs, left fielder Don Kelly made a home run-robbing catch and the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Tuesday.
Cabrera, coming off his Triple Crown season, had four hits and scored three times.
"He's the best right-handed hitter I've ever seen," Tigers newcomer Torii Hunter said. "I've only been here 15-16 years in the major leagues, but I tell you, this guy's probably one of the best right-handed hitters I've ever seen. (Albert) Pujols is pretty good, saw him the last decade or so, but Cabrera is the best hitter I've ever seen."
Hunter had three hits, including the 2,000th of his career, and Alex Avila homered.
Kelly took away a home run from J.P. Arencibia leading off the second. Kelly ran back to the wall, reached above the fence and caught the ball as he rammed into the padding. Kelly bounced back toward the field and fell onto the warning track, but held on.
"I didn't know how far it was going to carry," Kelly said. "He hit it, obviously, pretty well. So just to be able to get back there and catch it was awesome."
The Blue Jays, who spent millions during the winter to upgrade their roster, fell to 2-5 for their worst start since 2004.
"We're not relaxing at all. We're disappointed in the way we've played," said Jose Reyes , in his first season with Toronto.
Anibal Sanchez (1-0) struck out eight in seven innings. He allowed two runs and five hits with one walk.
"He throws his off-speed pitch when he's behind in the count. Guys who can do that are awful tough," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He did a nice job. He held us in check and went deep into the game for them."
Drew Smyly and Al Alburquerque combined to pitch the eighth. Joaquin Benoit worked the ninth and gave up Cody Rasmus' solo home run.
Brandon Morrow (0-1) gave up five runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.
"Just didn't make a pitch when I needed to," Morrow said. "Probably, that was the story of the game."
Cabrera hit an opposite-field liner just over the fence in right for a three-run homer in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. His 100th career home run at Comerica Park came after Austin Jackson and Hunter singled, and finished Morrow.
"I've been on record pretty much for the last five years. To me, he's pretty much the best opposite-field home run hitter probably in the history of the game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I've never seen anything like it, to be honest with you. I truly believe that. I think he's got the best opposite-field power of any
player I've ever seen. I guess I'll leave it at that."
Cabrera added a run-scoring single and Matt Tuiasosopo had an RBI double in the eighth.
Melky Cabrera had three hits and his first RBI for Toronto. He moved past 1,000 career hits.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first on Prince Fielder 's RBI double off the wall in right-center. He drove in Cabrera, who singled with two outs.
Avila's second home run of the season made it 2-0 in the second. He homered on Morrow's first pitch of the inning - it was the first pitch Avila saw since the birth of his first child, Avery Noelle, on Sunday.
The Blue Jays got a run in the third on Emilio Bonifacio 's triple and Reyes' single.
NOTES: Toronto OF Jose Bautista returned as the DH after missing three games because of a twisted right ankle. He was 0 for 4 ... Detroit DH Victor Martinez didn't play because of a cut on the top of his right thumb that required eight stitches. He is day-to-day. ... Former University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson threw out the first pitch, bouncing it about halfway to the plate. ... The Blue Jays signed P Miguel Bautista to a minor league contract. ... Wednesday's starters are Rick Porcello (0-1, 5.06 ERA ) for the Tigers against Mark Buehrle (0-0, 10.13) for the Blue Jays.