Tigers win in extras to hand Blue Jays fifth straight loss
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Alex Avila drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Detroit Tigers downed the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-2, to complete a three-game sweep at Comerica Park.
Jhonny Peralta singled off Chad Jenkins (0-1) to start the 11th, but was wiped off the base paths on Delmon Young's fielder's choice groundout. Pinch- runner Quintin Berry replaced Young and promptly stole second before Jeff Baker walked.
After Andy Dirks struck out, Avila ripped a single into right field and Berry slid in safely at home to give the Tigers the win.
"We finally got the big hit we were waiting for," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "(Avila) is a grinder. He's going to be a real tough out."
Joaquin Benoit (3-3) earned the victory after recording the final two outs in the top of the 11th, as the Tigers swept the Blue Jays for the first time since Aug. 19-21, 2005.
Neither starter factored in the decision, but both were extremely effective.
J.A. Happ spun 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, scattering four hits and walking three while striking out seven for the Jays. Justin Verlander allowed just two runs on four hits and struck out 12 over nine frames for Detroit.
Verlander's only blemish came in the fourth when Colby Rasmus registered Toronto's first hit before Edwin Encarnacion crushed a curveball into the seats in left-center field to give Toronto a 2-0 edge.
Happ was equally impressive, holding the Tigers scoreless over the first seven frames before Detroit's offense finally moved a runner into scoring position in the bottom of the eighth.
The lefty retired Dirks to start the frame before walking Avila and giving way to reliever Brandon Lyon, who surrendered a single to Austin Jackson, but got Omar Infante to line out to center field for the second out.
Toronto called on Darren Oliver to get the final out, but pinch-hitter Brennan Boesch slapped his first pitch into center field to plate Avila and trim the lead in half.
Oliver then uncorked a wild pitch to score Jackson and knot the game at 2-2.
The Blue Jays have lost six straight road games for the first time since dropping nine in a row from May 19-27, 2009 ... Toronto has scored three runs or less in seven straight games overall ... Verlander moved into fifth place all-time in Tigers history with 1,407 strikeouts, passing Jim Bunning (1,406) ... Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera left the game in the top of the second inning with right ankle soreness. He's listed as day-to-day.