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Walk Gives Tigers Series Win Over Jays

A bases-loaded walk by Miguel Cabrera in the bottom of the 11th inning gives the Detroit Tigers a key series win.

The walk-off walk, from Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Lucas Harrell, put the Tigers on top of the Jays 6-5 before over 37,000 fans at Comerica Park Sunday afternoon, many of them Blue Jays fans who crossed over from Windsor to see the contest.

Jays pitching had allowed nine walks over the course of the game, three of them in the bottom of the 11th alone. Tigers catcher Alex Avila had a free pass from Toronto Jeff Beliveau to lead things off. Beliveau did get Jose Iglesias out but was pulled for Harrell, who got Ian Kinsler to sacrifice-fly out for the second out. With Avila on second, he got on third thanks to a fielding error from Josh Donaldson, which put Nick Castellanos on first. A walk to Justin Upton loaded the bases and set up the winning run on Cabrera’s walk.

Toronto did come out swinging, scoring three runs in the first inning on two home runs, by Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales. Detroit got those runs back in the bottom of the first to tie it up 3-3 after one. The Tigers broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI double from James McCann, who had begun the game at catcher.

The Jays regained the lead in the fifth when Jose Bautista knocked a two-run homer, his second round-tripper in the series. Detroit tied the game up at five-all in the eighth inning when J.D. Martinez, who has been rumoured to be trade bait for other teams, hit a solo shot that knocked against an outfield rating, barely above the yellow stripe.

Warwick Saupold, who pitched the top of the 11th for the Tigers, took the win. Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez allowed all five Toronto runs in six innings of work. Beliveau was charged with the loss for Toronto, and starter Marco Estrada left the game in the fourth inning.

Detroit now tries to boost its standing in the American League Central Division when they take on the Royals in Kansas City Monday night. Meanwhile, Toronto heads to Fenway to face the Red Sox.