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Tigers bullpen can't hold onto lead, Detroit falls to Blue Jays 8-6

Detroit Tigers Pitcher Rick Porcello
Detroit Tigers Pitcher Rick Porcello

Detroit, MI (WKZO) – After a two hour and eight minute rain delay the Tigers and Blue Jays finally took the field and it was a good thing they did. With the forecast calling for more rain on Thursday and this being the only time Toronto will visit Detroit during the 2013 season, it was essential to get at least today’s game in. However, the Tigers’ bullpen is now wishing the game would have been postponed all together.

J.P. Arencibia bases loaded double in the seventh inning was the difference as the Blue Jays took advantage of some poor pitching from the Tigers bullpen in their 8-6 victory on Wednesday.

The Tigers led 6-2, before starting pitcher Rick Porcello was removed from the game with two runners on in the sixth.  Darrin Downs replaced Porcello and allowed a double to the first batter he faced, scoring both runners, both credited to Porcello. However Downs got out of the inning without allowing any more damage.

Porcello finished with four earned runs in five innings and only one strike out. He gave up eight hits but didn’t walk a batter.

Detroit added a run in their half of the sixth and was up 6-4 at the end of six.

Downs started the seventh and allowed a single before being replaced by Brayan Villarreal. Villarreal walked three straight batters before giving way to Octavio Dotel with the score 6-5. Dotel then allowed the double to Arencibia, the first batter he faced.

Tigers Highlights:

*For the second game in a row, the Tigers scored in the first inning. Austin Jackson singled to start the inning and advanced to third two batters later after a Cabrera single. Jackson then scored on Prince Fielder’s fielder’s choice to put Detroit up 1-0.

*Matt Tuiasosopo reached base in the second on an error by Blue Jays second baseman Emilio Bonifacio. He later scored on an Omar Infante single to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

*The Tigers reached base six straight times in the fifth inning as they batted around. Four runs were scored in the inning for Detroit.

*Prince Fielder reached base four times, including beating out a ground ball for an infield single in the sixth.

*Phil Coke pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, with two strike outs.

Tigers Lowlights:

*While the Tigers did score four runs in the fifth, it could have been much more. With one out and bases loaded, Alex Avila struck out and Infante fouled out to the catcher ending the inning and killing the Tigers’ threat

*Austin Jackson hit a liner off Jays’ pitcher Darrin Oliver in the eighth that ricocheted right to first base.

Game Notes: Prince Fielder had an RBI and is tied with Miguel Cabrera for the team lead with 10…Cabrera was 2-5 with a double…Victor Martinez returned to the lineup on Wednesday. He missed Tuesday’s game after receiving eight stiches on his right thumb. Martinez went 0-4 and is hitting .120 this season…The Tigers have back to back double figure hit totals against Toronto…Jhonny Peralta had three hits and Infante had two hits and is batting .385 this season…Darrin Downs almost had his head taken off on a line shot off the bat of Melky Cabrera. The ball missed Downs by less than a foot and caused the 6’3 lefty to hit the deck to avoid being hit. Cabrera ended up safe at first…Octavio Dotel was hit by a ball off the bat of a Toronto hitter, below the belt. After a few minutes he was ok…Doug Fister (1-0, 5.40 ERA) and Josh Johnson (0-0, 4.50) are the probable starters for Thursday.