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TORONTO — The Detroit Tigers will be trying to avoid making more history Sunday afternoon when they face the Toronto Blue Jays on Canada Day at the Rogers Centre.
After Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak smacked a 1-0 fastball from Joe Jimenez for his second career walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-deshaun-watson-jersey]Deshaun Watson Jersey[/url] , the Tigers have lost 11 games in a row.
The last time the Tigers put together a losing streak like that was 2003. On Sunday, in the third contest of the four-game series, the Tigers will be trying to avoid dipping deeper into their history by losing 12 in a row for the first time since 1996.
The Tigers will start right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 4.35 ERA) against Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (10-3, 3.62).
Saturday looked promising for the Tigers when they took a 3-0 lead in the third inning, but the Blue Jays came back to tie in the fifth.
Both Toronto wins in the series have been by one run.
“Honestly, nobody wants to play extra innings,” Smoak said. “To be able to do it in the ninth and get it over with is always a good feeling.”
The Tigers would beg to differ. They would have been happy to try their luck in extra innings if that’s what it takes to end their funk.
“We’re all trying hard,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Everybody’s trying. We tried all kinds of things today to try to make this happen. And we were in the game again and ultimately we lose the ballgame.”
The Blue Jays have dominated the Tigers at the Rogers Centre in recent years, winning 12 of their past 14 meetings.
There could be times when it seems as if the Tigers might be trying a little too hard to make things happen and then paying for it. First baseman John Hicks, who hit his seventh home run of the season in the second inning Saturday, was not so sure that is the case.
“I don’t think guys are trying to do anything more than we’ve been trying to do all year [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-menelik-watson-jersey]Menelik Watson Jersey[/url] ,” he said. “We’re in a losing streak, but we’re going out every day playing the same way we’ve been playing all year. But when you are losing, things get magnified.”
Losing a close game or a lopsided one does not matter, Hicks said, adding “A loss is a loss.
“They all stink, every loss is frustrating. It just happens to be in a losing streak, so it happens to magnify things more. We’ve had opportunities to win pretty much every ballgame we’ve lost.”
The task Sunday falls to Zimmermann, who will make his 10th start of the season.
Despite pitching five scoreless innings Monday against the Oakland Athletics, Zimmermann did not factor in the decision, He allowed four hits and three walks and struck out three.
In three career starts against the Blue Jays, Zimmermann is 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA. This will be his first start against Toronto since June 8, 2016 [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-derek-wolfe-jersey]Derek Wolfe Jersey[/url] , when he took the loss, giving up seven runs and eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. He will be making his first career start at the Rogers Centre.
Happ has not lost since May 10. In his eight starts since, he is 6-0 with a 2.60 ERA. One of the no-decisions came June 2 in Detroit when he allowed four runs and had eight strikeouts against the Tigers in five innings.
In nine career games (eight starts) against the Tigers, he is 3-1 with a 4.10 ERA.
The Blue Jays lead the season series between the teams 3-2. Two games are left.
Both teams had injuries to relief pitchers Saturday. The Blue Jays put Ryan Tepera on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow and recalled Jake Petricka from Triple-A Buffalo.
Tigers reliever Alex Wilson left the game — and was replaced by Jimenez — in the eighth inning with a strained left calf. He is listed as day to day.
The St. Louis Cardinals left Arizona feeling a little bit better about themselves, thanks to a late-inning surge by the offense and another strong outing from Miles Mikolas.
The Cardinals scored seven times in the seventh and eighth innings to beat Arizona 8-4 on Wednesday night. After coming to town on a four-game losing streak and off a three-game sweep at the hands of Atlanta, St. Louis took two of three from the first-place Diamondbacks.
Yadier Molina’s three-run homer on the first pitch from reliever Fernando Salas highlighted a five-run Cardinals seventh inning after Arizona had nursed a 2-1 lead through six in front of a sellout crowd of 44,072.
”Had some big hits today,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ”It allows those big five-run innings to happen. Wear the pitcher down, wear the defense down. Then you have Yadi come in and do something special on the back end.”
Tommy Pham drove in three Cardinals runs with a double and two singles. Matt Carpenter doubled twice and singled with one RBI.
”Carp kind of set the tone. He got on base a lot,” Pham said. ”I think we had good at-bats. Even when the results weren’t there, we made guys throw pitches. That’s key. If a guy is taking four or five plus pitches to get outs, that means you are grinding as a hitter. When you put that together as a team [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-brendan-langley-jersey]Brendan Langley Jersey[/url] , it wears out pitching staffs.”
The Diamondbacks dropped to 1-5 on their homestand and lead the surging Los Angeles Dodgers by just a half-game in the NL West.
Mikolas (9-3) gave up two runs and seven hits, walked four and struck out three.
Arizona reliever Yoshihisa Hirano (2-1) had his franchise-record streak of 26 games without allowing a run end when Yairo Munoz homered to lead off the seventh. Hirano gave up four runs, one earned, on three hits in two-thirds of an inning for his first loss since coming to the major leagues from Japan this season.
”Yoshi’s human,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. ”That’s what it means, right? And he’s absolutely spoiled us. He’s been a slam-dunk reliever and he made a really tough game look easy for a long time.”
After Munoz’s homer, shortstop Ketel Marte booted pinch-hitter Tyler O’Neill’s grounder for an error. With one out and O’Neill on second, Pham singled to center to put the Cardinals up 3-2. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson left the game with discomfort in his right groin area, Lovullo said.
Salas relieved Hirano and gave up the big hit to Molina, who homered twice in the series.
”It was like two totally different games,” Lovullo said. ”The first six innings were exactly the way you’d like to see guys go out and execute and do their job, and then the final three innings unfortunately we couldn’t execute in a lot of key areas.”
Arizona starter Patrick Corbin allowed one run and six hits in six innings [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-zach-cunningham-jersey]Zach Cunningham Jersey[/url] , his third straight strong outing without a decision. He’s given up two runs in 19 innings during those three starts.
Cardinals: Paul DeJong (broken left hand) homered and doubled and played shortstop all nine innings Tuesday night in his fourth rehab game for Triple-A Memphis. Matheny said DeJong would not be activated Thursday in San Francisco but could be at some time during the four-game series.
Diamondbacks: Right-handed reliever Randall Delgado (left oblique strain) was scheduled to make another rehab appearance for Triple-A Reno and is expected to be activated Thursday, the end of his rehab assignment. … OF Steven Souza Jr. (strained right pectoral) had Wednesday off in his rehab assignment with Reno after homering twice for the Aces on Tuesday night. Souza has three homers in his last two rehab games.
Cardinals: Head to San Francisco for four games against the Giants. RHP Luke Weaver (4-7, 5.16 ERA) starts for St. Louis in Thursday night’s opener. Johnny Cueto (3-0, 0.84) comes off the disabled list to pitch for the Giants.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (0-2, 11.42), following two rough starts in his return from Tommy John surgery, takes the mound Thursday night in the opener of a four-game home series against San Diego. LHP Eric Lauer (3-5, 5.08) goes for the Padres.
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