Blue Jays 8, Tigers 2
DETROIT (AP)—With his team in a batting slump, Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Mike Barnett decided to hold a meeting for his batters.
Whatever he said, it worked—and helped Roy Halladay earn his 12th straight victory.
After scoring just six runs in a four-game losing streak, the Blue Jays got two homers from Carlos Delgado and four RBIs from Vernon Wells in an 8-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
“When we were going good, we were getting runs early,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “When we were able to throw a couple runs up there early tonight, everyone was able to breathe a little easier. We hadn’t done that for a while.”
Delgado now has 28 homers and 91 RBIs.
“He’s unbelievable,” said Wells, who has scored 68 runs. “It is a pleasure just to try to get on base for him and watch him work his magic.”
Halladay has something special going, too.
Halladay (12-2) has not lost in 15 starts since April 15. His winning streak is the second-longest in team history to Roger Clemens’ 15-game string in 1998.
“I just wanted to go out there and give it everything I had,” Halladay said. “I had a little more intensity than usual, but it was nice to see the offense get going again. That helped a lot.”
Halladay allowed two runs on seven hits and no walks in seven innings. He struck out three.
“That guy can do a lot of things that no one else can do,” said Detroit’s Matt Walbeck. “In one at-bat, he threw a 2-0 curveball, a 3-1 curveball and a full-count curveball and struck our guy out. There aren’t too many pitches with that kind of command of a breaking ball.”
Detroit has lost 22 of its last 26 games. Still, the Blue Jays became the first road team to lose a series at Comerica Park this year.
“It would have been huge if we had been able to sweep them,” Walbeck said. “We still won the series, but now it is bittersweet because we are going out on the road off a loss.”
Adam Bernero (1-12) took his sixth straight loss, giving up five runs on seven hits in 3 1-3 innings. The Tigers are 1-16 in Bernero’s starts this season.
“I felt fine physically,” said Bernero, who was suffering from a mild case of strep throat. “They were just hitting everything I threw up there. I didn’t get the job done.”
Tigers manager Alan Trammell would not comment on Bernero’s future in the rotation. Rookie Wil Ledezma, considered a future rotation candidate, pitched four innings of relief, allowing two runs on three hits.
“Right now, we are not going to make any decisions,” Trammell said. “Wil is a possibility at some point, but I’m going to leave it at that.”
Shannon Stewart led off the game with a double, took third on a groundout and scored on Wells’ grounder. Delgado followed with a homer to right to make it 2-0.
In the third, former Tiger Frank Catalanotto singled with one out and scored on Wells’ homer over the new fence in left field.
Chris Woodward made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Delgado hit his second solo homer in the fifth.
Delgado’s RBI total is the fourth-highest ever before the All-Star break. The record belongs to Hank Greenberg, who had 103 in 1935.
“It’s hard to predict what kind of numbers and what kind of results you will end up with,” Delgado said. “All I can say is that it is fun right now— challenging myself to push to be a better player.”
The Tigers scored in the fifth on Walbeck’s RBI single.
There have been 22 new-fence homers this season—13 by visiting teams and nine by the Tigers. Craig Monroe leads Detroit players with four while Seattle’s Bret Boone has the most for visitors with three. … Detroit OF GeneKingsale cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Toledo.