Toronto (WKZO) – On Canada Day it was all Toronto as the Blue Jays powered past the Tigers 8-3 on Monday afternoon.
Jose Alvarez was roughed up in what could be his final start for the Tigers in place of the injured Anibal Sanchez. The 24-year-old lefty gave up five runs – four earned – in just three innings of work. Alvarez was lit up during the third inning when he gave up four runs and by that point Tigers manager Jim Leyland had had enough. Luke Putkonen started the fourth and allowed three runs, all coming on a home run from Mark DeRosa. Putkonen settled down after then and tossed three more shutout innings.
The Tigers once again struggled offensively scoring just three runs, two of them off of Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner, gave up just two runs, both coming in the fourth inning. The first run came on a solo home run to Prince Fielder, his 14th of the year, and then on an RBI ground rule double from Omar Infante, which scored Victor Martinez. Infante finished 4-4 and capped off the Tigers scoring with a solo home run of his own in the ninth inning. Infante was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Jose Reyes was 3 for 5 for Toronto with a solo home run off Alvarez in the third inning.
Tigers have lost three in a row and six of their last seven and now trail the Cleveland Indians by a half game for the lead in the AL Central.
The Tigers have officially hit the half-way point of the season and are 43-38.
Tigers try to end their losing ways on Tuesday in the second game of a four game set in Toronto. Doug Fister (6-5, 3.50 ERA) takes the mound on Tuesday and Chien-Ming Wang (1-1, 5.24) gets the start for the Blue Jays. First pitch is set for 7:07.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced after the game that Alex Avila will be activated from the 15-day DL. Bryan Holaday will be sent down to Triple-A Toledo.