Justin Smoak's two-run homer lifts Jays over Detroit 3-0
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Freddy Galvis (16) is caught in a rundown by Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris (44) during seventh inning American League baseball action in Toronto, Saturday, March 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, March 30, 2019 6:32PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, March 30, 2019 6:34PM EDT
TORONTO -- Justin Smoak had a two-run homer in the fourth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 3-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Billy McKinney had an RBI single earlier in the fourth for Toronto (2-1). The Blue Jays have shut out the Tigers twice in a row after dropping the season opener.
Aaron Sanchez (1-0) pitched five-plus innings, striking out six and giving up three hits. Sanchez and previous Jays starters Marcus Stroman and Matt Shoemaker haven't given up a run this season.
Tim Mayza, Daniel Hudson, Joe Biagini and Ken Giles kept Detroit off the scoreboard to preserve Sanchez's win.
Miguel Cabrera led the Tigers (1-2) with a pair of singles before getting hit by a pitch in the sixth inning.
He was diagnosed with a contusion on his right hand but X-rays came back negative.
Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull (0-1) allowed three runs on four hits over five innings of work, with five strikeouts.
Daniel Norris and Victor Alcantra combined for three innings of scoreless relief for Detroit.
McKinney opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a hit to right field. Although he was gunned down by Detroit right-fielder Nicholas Castellanos trying to stretch the hit into a double, it was more than enough time for Toronto third baseman Brandon Drury to score for a 1-0 lead.
Smoak added to that lead two batters later, sending a 2-2 pitch from Turnbull into the Blue Jays bullpen. The homer brought home Teoscar Hernandez, who had walked in the previous at-bat. It was Toronto's first home run of the season.
Giles took over from Biagini in the ninth inning, striking out Christin Stewart. He then gave up a sharply hit single to Grayson Greiner before inducing a popfly to centre field by Dustin Peterson.
A strikeout-put out of Gordon Beckham ended the game and gave Giles his first save of the season.
Notes: Heavy rainfall leaked through the dome at Rogers Centre, forcing at least one section of fans in the 500s to be relocated. ... Announced attendance was 25,429.