Granderson, Ordonez lead Tigers past Blue Jays 4-1
Detroit’s Virgil Vasquez pitched two hitless innings, filling in nicely for Nate Robertson. The left-hander was scratched from his scheduled start after his wife gave birth to a boy early Thursday morning.
“I found out in the morning when I was coming out of the bathroom,” Vasquez said. “I hope Nate had a wonderful baby but I was grateful for the opportunity.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Vasquez is effective when he keeps the ball down in the strike zone, but he’s had a hard time with that.
“If I can locate the ball well and keep it down I can make it in the majors,” Vasquez said. “I was expecting to go two innings anyway, but it was nice to start. Hopefully I can get a chance in Detroit.”
Granderson connected off Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch in the second. Litsch allowed four hits and four earned runs in two innings.
Litsch was 7-9 with a 3.81 ERA in 20 games last season and is among three candidates looking to grab the fifth spot in Toronto’s rotation.
“For his first time out, he was so-so,” manager John Gibbons said. “He can’t walk guys and the Tigers have a tough lineup.”
Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan faced hitters for the first time since an elbow injury ended his season last April. Ryan, who spent the year recovering from ligament replacement surgery, threw 21 pitches and reported no problems. “I just want to get going and get some innings in. It felt good to be back out there,” he said. Ryan is set to have another batting practice session Saturday. Gibbons previously said Ryan would pitch in a minor league spring training game before working in a big league exhibition. … Leyland said new 3B Miguel Cabrera will bat fifth in the opening-day lineup. … Non-roster RHP Matt Mantei, who hasn’t pitched in a major league game since 2005, threw a scoreless inning for Detroit. … Robertson’s wife, Kristin, gave birth to a 6-pound, 14-ounce boy at 1:23 a.m. They named him Wyatt Dale.