Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4
TORONTO (AP)—Even after going hitless in the first seven games of the season, Brandon Inge wasn’t about to panic.
Inge hit a solo home run in the third, singled in a run in Detroit’s three-run fourth and added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
“I just stuck with it, you know,” said Inge, who snapped a 0-for-20 slide with a fourth-inning single on Wednesday. “This game has so many ups and downs. I’ve learned over the years just don’t panic, just keep doing what you’re going to do and it’ll eventually come around.
“I was starting to get a little frustrated because I felt fine the whole time,” he added. “There’s times when I go up to the plate and I just feel terrible but not once in this whole stretch I had did I feel terrible. I felt like I was seeing the ball well, I was hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the bat. I just wasn’t getting any hits.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland saw signs that Inge was ready to break out during Detroit’s series against Baltimore.
“You’re starting to see him realize that you just can’t pull everything,” Leyland said. “You could see that starting to come. He’s been working on it and tonight it paid big dividends.”
Maroth (2-0) was limited to 13 games last season because of arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow. The 29-year-old left-hander allowed nine hits, walked two and struck out two.
“I did a good job of mixing my pitches tonight, more than I did my first start,” Maroth said. “I wanted to use all my pitches and I did from the first inning all the way through the sixth inning. I used my curveball and my cutter more than I did my first outing.”
Joel Zumaya pitched the last two innings for his first save and the second of his career. The first came July 11, 2006, also at Toronto, when he struck out four over three innings.
Hill hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Toronto.
Toronto added two more in the eighth against Jose Mesa, who was lifted after opening the inning with a walk and single.
Zumaya came on and sent his first pitch to the backstop, moving the runners up and allowing Gregg Zaun to deliver a sacrifice fly. One out later, pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay doubled home another run, drawing the Blue Jays within one. Zumaya escaped by striking out Alex Rios looking.
Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus left after two innings for what the team called “precautionary reasons.” Glaus, who is day to day, has been bothered by a sore left heel. He was replaced by John McDonald.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Glaus won’t play Friday and will see a doctor in the coming days.
“We’ll know a little bit more tomorrow,” Gibbons said. “He’s banged up. We knew that coming in.”
In Glaus’ only at-bat, he ended the first by grounding into a bases-loaded double play.
The Blue Jays know they’ll be in trouble if Glaus is sidelined for any length of time.
“There’s a lot of concern,” Lyle Overbay said. “You’ve just got to deal with it. You’re going to go through those times. Hopefully it’s a short-term thing instead of a long-term thing.”
Ohka allowed five runs—four earned—and eight hits in six innings.