Tulowitzki has 3 RBIs, Blue Jays beat Tigers 5-4
TORONTO (AP) On a night the Blue Jays left 14 runners on base, Troy Tulowitzki did his part to cash some in.
Tulowitzki drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning, and the Blue Jays rallied to beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Thursday night for their season-best sixth straight victory.
''I didn't realize till after the game how many runners left on base we had,'' Tulowitzki said. ''Sooner or later with this lineup you feel very strong that someone is going to come through.''
Tulowitzki finished 2 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs. He is batting .338 (22 for 65) with 20 RBIs in 17 games since returning June 18 after missing 20 games with a sore right quadriceps.
''Since he's come off the DL, he's been swinging a very hot bat,'' Tigers catcher James McCann said. ''He's a guy who covers a lot of pitches.''
Jason Grilli (3-2) pitched one inning for the win. Roberto Osuna worked the ninth for his 18th save.
''Everybody wants to finish well going into the break,'' Grilli said. ''We're playing good baseball right now.''
Toronto trailed 4-2 after McCann scored on Ian Kinsler's double play groundout in the seventh, but the Blue Jays shaved the deficit to one when Tulowitzki hit an RBI single off Shane Greene in the bottom half.
After the Blue Jays loaded the bases against Justin Wilson (2-2) with two outs in the eighth, Alex Wilson came on to face Tulowitzki but surrendered a two-run single to right.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was forced to juggle his relief corps after right-hander Bruce Rondon returned to the hotel during batting practice because of flulike symptoms.
''We were short,'' Ausmus said. ''That's why we were kind of stretching Shane and Justin both, trying to get through. I think at the end, really, Justin was kind of out of gas, so we went to Alex.''
Nick Castellanos and Justin Upton hit solo home runs for the Tigers.
Toronto jumped on Detroit starter Justin Verlander in the first, scoring twice with two outs. Michael Saunders hit an RBI single and Russell Martin followed with a double.
Upton halved the deficit with a two-out homer off Drew Hutchison in the second, and Castellanos tied it with a one-out drive in the fourth.
It was the second homer in two games for Castellanos, extending his career high to 17.
Upton followed with a double and scored on a two-out single by McCann, who was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.
Verlander allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked a season-high four and struck out five.
''It was a battle,'' Verlander said. ''Those guys, one through nine, really fought me.''
Making his second start of the season in place of injured right-hander Marco Estrada (back), Hutchison allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
SANCHEZ COMES UP SHORT
Ned Yost selected Indians RHP Corey Kluber to replace injured Estrada on the AL All-Star team. Yost said Wednesday that Toronto RHP Aaron Sanchez was among the candidates.
GREAT WHITE NORTH
McCann said hot, humid conditions made it a draining night behind the plate, poking fun at Canada's reputation for cool weather. ''It was pretty humid tonight,'' McCann said. ''Most people talk about how nice the nights up here in Canada are. Tonight wasn't one of those typical nights, I guess.''
Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson scored twice, extending his team record for runs scored before the All-Star break. Donaldson has 79 runs.
Tigers: Ausmus said Rondon will be re-evaluated Friday.
Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson stayed in the game after being hit on the right elbow by a pitch from Greene in the sixth.
Tigers: RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-7, 4.78) starts for Detroit on Friday. He's 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (11-3, 3.54) has won five consecutive starts. He is unbeaten since June 6 at Detroit, when he allowed six runs in five innings.