Hernandez powers Blue Jays over Tigers
TORONTO — Teoscar Hernandez was so excited by his two homers and five RBIs Sunday afternoon that he rushed off to be with visiting family immediately after the Toronto Blue Jays’ 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers.
The left fielder let others do the talking for him after the Blue Jays took the rubber match of the three-game series.
“He looks like he fits in,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “Today was a big day for him. But we acquired him for a reason. We had some big days by other guys, too. ... A lot of good things happened.”
Among the other good things was the four-hit game by Darwin Barney that matched his career best, the six strong innings pitched by J.A. Happ and the three scoreless innings pitched by Luis Santos, who earned his first major league save.
Hernandez, a September call-up after being acquired from the Houston Astros in a July 31 trade, had three hits in the game as the Blue Jays (66-77) won back-back-games for the first time since Aug. 16-17 and gained a 3-3 split in their season series with the Tigers.
Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer for the Tigers (60-82).
Happ (8-10) allowed five hits, two walks and two runs (one earned) while striking out nine in six innings.
“It was great, we had a bunch of big hits to today,” Happ said. “That was awesome. And Santos coming in and throwing the last three as well as he did. That’s a good recipe right there for a win.”
Santos, a September call-up, allowed two hits over three innings
Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (3-4) allowed 12 hits, one walk and seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five.
“The one thing (Sanchez) used to be able to do when he had a couple more miles an hour was pitch up,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Now that line is a lot finer. If you don’t get up high enough, it’s potentially a home run. When you add a couple of extra miles an hour, or three extra miles an hour, it’s a little easier to make a mistake up there and get away with it.”
“I need to keep working,” Sanchez said. “I feel really good. (Hernandez) is really good. He showed power today, he got really good contact on two good pitches.”
Richard Urena led off with a single and scored from first on a two-out single by Kendrys Morales in the first to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
The Blue Jays led 3-0 when Hernandez followed a single by Ryan Goins with his first homer of the season, a blast to center.
Kinsler’s 17th homer of the season — and his first with a runner on base — cut the lead to 3-2 in the fifth. It also scored Dixon Machado, who reached first base when shortstop Urena was charged with an error on his grounder.
The Blue Jays scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 7-2 lead. Singles by Jose Bautista, Morales and Kevin Pillar produced one run. The other three scored on the second homer of the game by Hernandez, a drive to right.
“I didn’t think he had as much pop as he showed today,” Gibbons said. “He went to dead center and then to the opposite field, there’s life in his bat. He brings energy.”
Barney was impressed with what he viewed.
“Couldn’t have happened to a better person,” Barney said of Hernandez. “I was happy for him. Standing in the on-deck circle and you see a guy go deep like that a couple of times all you want to do is go deep behind him. ... that’s not my game, but it’s fun to watch a guy come up here, have excitement, spark some things and make it happen. Hopefully he can keep it going.”
Reliever Jeff Ferrell replaced Sanchez after Barney singled.
Toronto added an unearned run in the seventh against Artie Lewicki on singles by Hernandez, Barney and a passed ball.
“Happ’s got good stuff,” Tigers catcher James McCann said. “He located his fastball to both sides of the plate, mixed in a cutter, changeup, and curveball at times. Ultimately, he located the ball extremely well. (With Sanchez) we just made some mistakes out over the plate and they took advantage of them.”
NOTES: Tigers OF Mikie Mahtook (sore left groin) missed his second straight game in left field Sunday with INF Andrew Romine replacing him again. ... Tigers SS Jose Iglesias is still away from the team after going to Miami for the birth of his son. He has been activated from the paternity list but there is no time set for his return. ... Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson (illness) and INF/OF Steve Pearce (stiff lower back) were again out of the lineup Sunday. ... Toronto RHP Marco Estrada (7-8, 5.00 ERA) opposes Baltimore Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 6.80) Monday at the Rogers Centre. ... Tigers RHP Myles Jaye (1-0, 0.00) faces Cleveland Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco (14-6, 3.53) Monday at Progressive Field. ... The Tigers will add OF Tyler Collins to roster Monday.