Toronto’s potent offense has been contained during a stretch in which they have lost four of six, including the last two straight. The Blue Jays, who rank second in runs and hits in the majors, have been held to two runs three times during the stretch.
On Sunday, the Blue Jays were held hitless for 7 2-3 innings by Montreal starter Tomo Ohka in a 10-2 loss to the Expos.
“I didn’t know anybody was capable of doing that do us,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said of his team being held to a season-low two hits.
In Saturday’s 4-2 loss, the Jays were held to just four hits in 6 1-3 innings by rookie Claudio Vargas.
“We’ve been on a pretty good run here, but we ran into two pretty good pitchers,” Tosca said. “We’ve said all along that good pitching stops good hitting.”
The slide has pushed the Blue Jays back to third place in the AL East, 5 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays will be without closer Cliff Politte, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a strained right shoulder. Politte is 1-6 with a 6.42 ERA and 11 saves.
Coming off a 5-3 loss to Arizona on Sunday, the league-worst Tigers, are looking to break their nine-game losing streak.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Detroit is the first team in baseball history to lose 60 games before July 1.
STANDINGS: Blue Jays - 3rd place, 5 1/2 GB, AL East. Tigers - 5th place, 24 1/2 GB, AL Central.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Cory Lidle (10-5, 5.12 ERA). Lidle is coming off his shortest outing of the season—4 1-3 innings—as he allowed seven runs and eight hits in a 9-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. Lidle is 2-1 with a 5.70 ERA in six games, including four starts, against the Tigers.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Mike Maroth (2-12, 4.99 ERA). Tied with teammate Jeremy Bonderman with the most losses in the majors, Maroth is 1-1 in his last two starts while allowing just four earned runs in 13 innings. In his last start, an 11-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, Maroth allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings. The left-hander has one career start against Toronto, a 1-0 loss on Sept. 29. In 7 1-3 innings, Maroth allowed seven hits and one run.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Blue Jays, 6-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - The Blue Jays also announced that RHP Juan Acevedo has been temporarily removed from the 25-man roster for bereavement leave to attend the funeral of his grandmother in Chicago. Acevedo could return in three to seven days. … The Blue Jays have recalled right-hander Mike Smith and left-hander Jason Kershner from Triple-A Syracuse to Acevedo and Polite on the roster. … CF Vernon Wells went 0-for-4 Sunday, ending his career-high 20-game hit streak. Tigers - The Tigers have dropped 21 of 23. … The Tigers have been held to fewer than four runs in seven of their last eight. … Detroit has dropped seven straight at Comerica Park.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 24-17 on the road; Tigers - 6-32 at home.
INJURIES: Blue Jays - EHP Politte (shoulder), day-to-day; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL. Tigers - OF Gene Kingsale (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Danny Patterson (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL.