Nicholas Castellanos hit a grand slam, Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven strong innings and the visiting Detroit Tigers ended an 11-game losing streak Sunday afternoon with a 9-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Castellanos capped a five-run fifth inning with his fourth career grand slam and 13th homer of the season against Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ. His heroics give the Tigers a chance to gain a split in the four-game series when the teams play the series finale on Monday afternoon.
JaCoby Jones hit his sixth homer of the season for the Tigers, a two-run shot in the ninth against Preston Guilmet.
Castellanos was robbed of another home run in the ninth inning when Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar made a leaping catch at the wall.
Tigers second baseman Niko Goodrum had four hits, including a double.
Zimmermann (3-0) held the Blue Jays to one run, five hits and no walks while striking out six.
Happ (10-4) allowed seven runs, 10 hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four in losing for the first time since May 10. He had gone 6-0 in his eight starts before Sunday.
The Blue Jays scored in the first inning when Teoscar Hernandez tripled and Justin Smoak doubled.
Detroit had leadoff singles in the third and fourth innings, but they were erased on double play grounders.
The Tigers took a 5-1 lead in the fifth. The rally started with two-out singles by Goodrum and Jose Iglesias and a walk to Jones. Goodrum scored on a squeeze bunt by Leonys Martin, who suffered a left hamstring cramp running to first base and was replaced by pinch runner Victor Reyes. Castellanos hit his grand slam on a first-pitch two-seam fastball.
The Tigers scored twice more in the sixth. With two out, James McCann singled, Goodrum doubled and Iglesias hit a two-run single. John Axford replaced Happ.
Axford pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings before Jake Petricka replaced him and pitched around an eighth-inning walk.
Blaine Hardy replaced Zimmermann for the eighth inning and overcame a leadoff single.
Shane Greene pitched a perfect ninth for the Tigers.
—Field Level Media