Victor Martinez homers, Tigers end Toronto's win streak at 7
TORONTO (AP) Hitless in 10 at-bats against the Blue Jays, Victor Martinez came through at the perfect time for the Detroit Tigers.
Martinez hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning and the Tigers stopped Toronto's seven-game winning streak, beating the Blue Jays 3-2 on Saturday.
Hampered by an injured left knee for much of 2015, when he hit .245 with 11 home runs, Martinez has returned to his productive self this season. He's hitting a team-high .309 with 17 home runs and 52 RBIs.
''It just shows you how much we missed him last year,'' manager Brad Ausmus said.
Justin Upton had two hits and Andrew Romine reached base three times for the Tigers, who had lost seven of their previous nine against Toronto.
Bruce Rondon (3-1) earned the win despite allowing a tying home run to Devon Travis in the seventh. Rondon missed the first two games of the series with flu-like symptoms.
Justin Wilson pitched the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez finished for his 24th save.
Martinez broke a 2-all tie with a one-out drive off Jason Grilli (3-3).
While he's happy to be healthy again, Martinez said he's focused on more than just his own statistics.
''I'm worried more about the team,'' he said. ''I don't really pay attention to the numbers. I just want to win.''
Matt Boyd allowed one run and four hits in five innings for Detroit. He was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to start in place of Daniel Norris, who has a strained right oblique.
''He did an excellent job,'' Ausmus said. ''He did exactly what we needed him to do.''
The Tigers loaded the bases against Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez with nobody out in the second but Toronto got a double play to limit the damage.
Left fielder Ezequiel Carrera caught Steven Moya's fly ball and threw home in time to retire Martinez, who was attempting to tag up from third.
Ausmus said Martinez made the decision to run on his own.
''It took a perfect throw to get him,'' Ausmus said. ''I think he was using little a bit of stealth there.''
Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked to load the bases a second time before Romine drove in the game's first run when he was hit by a pitch.
Saltalamacchia made it 2-0 in the fourth with a two-out RBI single. Carrera cut it to 2-1 with an RBI triple in the fifth.
Sanchez had pitched eight innings in each of his previous two starts, both victories, but wasn't as sharp against the Tigers. He allowed two runs and five hits in five innings.
Following the game, Sanchez was named to the AL All-Star team, replacing injured Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel.
''That's a huge accomplishment,'' Sanchez said. ''There were so many other guys deserving of this award and to be mentioned with those people is a huge honor for me.''
BLESS THIS MESS
The Tigers have won six of the seven games in which they've made multiple errors.
START ME UP
Blue Jays starters have held the opposition to three earned runs or fewer in 11 straight.
Blue Jays: OF Jose Bautista (left big toe) has begun hitting off a tee, manager John Gibbons said. Bautista has not played since June 16. There is no timetable for his return. ... INF Ryan Goins, who went on the DL with a strained forearm after pitching an inning of relief in Toronto's 19-inning loss to Cleveland on July 1, has resumed throwing.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-9, 6.52) allowed a season-worst seven runs in 4 1-3 innings in a 12-1 loss at Cleveland on July 5. Sanchez has not won as a starter since April 28 against Oakland.
Blue Jays: RHP R.A. Dickey (6-9, 4.10) has allowed at least one home run in each of his past six starts, surrendering 11 in that span.