Fulmer impressive again as Tigers rout Blue Jays 11-0
DETROIT (AP) After another stellar start by rookie Michael Fulmer, Detroit's rotation is beginning to look a lot more promising.
Fulmer allowed two hits over six innings in another outstanding performance, and Justin Upton and James McCann homered to lift the Tigers to an 11-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
Detroit acquired Fulmer last year in the trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets. The right-hander has won four straight starts, allowing only one run over that span.
''All of a sudden, now you feel like (Justin) Verlander, (Jordan) Zimmerman, Fulmer - they keep pitching like they're pitching, that's a pretty good top three,'' manager Brad Ausmus said.
Fulmer (6-1) struck out five and walked three in his third straight start without allowing a run. Detroit has won four in a row.
J.A. Happ (6-3) allowed six runs and six hits in five innings. McCann's three-run homer opened the scoring in the second, and Upton added a two-run shot in the third.
The 23-year-old Fulmer has given a boost to Detroit's pitching staff while it has navigated Anibal Sanchez's struggles. The only hits off Fulmer on Monday seemed like they could have been prevented.
Darwin Barney's groundball single in the third slipped through after second baseman Ian Kinsler moved toward second initially, while the ball went to the area he'd vacated.
In the fifth, Barney's soft roller toward the mound got past Fulmer for an infield single.
With the Tigers out to a huge lead, Detroit pulled Fulmer after 88 pitches.
''It's been fun,'' Fulmer said. ''I love this team, and I think we're going to stay hot.''
It was a sloppy game for the Blue Jays from almost the very start. Center fielder Kevin Pillar stepped in on Nick Castellanos' deep line drive in the second, and he couldn't recover in time to prevent the ball from going over his head for a triple. McCann's homer later in the inning made it 3-0.
Kinsler added a single in the second and came around to score on a balk, a passed ball and a wild pitch. The Blue Jays threw three wild pitches in the game, and Pillar made an error in the sixth.
''I'm not sure how much I can dissect that game,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ''We were bad in every phase, and that kid, Fulmer, pitched a heck of a game against us.''
It was 6-0 after Upton's homer, and Detroit added three more runs in the sixth and two in the eighth.
Emergency personnel attended to a woman behind the first-base dugout after a line drive was hit to that area in the bottom of the seventh. She appeared to be OK, and the game continued. She later walked out while holding what looked like an ice pack on her head.
Sanchez pitched for the first time since being demoted to the bullpen. He worked a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout.
''I was glad,'' Ausmus said. ''I wanted Sanchie to come in and have a good inning. He said he felt good after.''
All but two of Happ's 12 starts this season have been quality starts, but those two were pretty bad. He allowed eight runs in two innings against Tampa Bay on May 18, and Monday against the Tigers was ugly, too.
''I try to be 100 percent honest with myself after every start, and I went back and looked at the video, and I don't know what happened,'' Happ said. ''I executed pitches tonight the same way I have done in other starts when I have gotten much better results. Tonight, nothing went right.''
Blue Jays: Barney, playing while SS Troy Tulowitzki recovers from a right quadriceps injury, improved his batting average to .337. He's 12 for 28 since May 28, the day Tulowitzki went on the disabled list.
Blue Jays: Toronto sends RHP Aaron Sanchez (5-1) to the mound against the Tigers on Tuesday night.
Tigers: Detroit starts LHP Matt Boyd (0-1) against his previous organization. The Blue Jays traded Boyd to the Tigers last year in the deal that sent David Price to Toronto.
Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister