The Toronto Blue Jays, who have struggled to score runs against the Tigers during consecutive weekend series, will try to get their bats going on Saturday in the second game of a three-game set at Detroit.
Toronto has scored a total of eight runs while losing three of four to the Tigers, including a 2-1 defeat on Friday. Detroit scored the go-ahead run on pinch hitter Victor Reyes’ inside-the-park homer in the eighth inning.
“I just wanted somebody to get on base,” Detroit manager AJ Hinch said. “We were having a tough time scoring, as was everybody tonight. So we needed somebody to spark the inning, and Victor sure did that.”
Right-hander Alex Manoah (5-2, 3.18 ERA) will start on Saturday for Toronto. Manoah has been sharp in two of his past three outings.
He held the Los Angeles Angels to two runs and struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings on Aug. 11.
Washington scored seven runs, six earned, in three innings against him on Aug. 17. Manoah bounced back by holding the Chicago White Sox to one run in six innings on Monday, and the Blue Jays eventually pulled out a 2-1 victory.
“I continued to battle,” Manoah said. “I continued to make pitches, give the team a chance and get that offense out there. I knew they’d break it open eventually. I just love the competitiveness and going out there and attacking.”
The Tigers are expected to use a combination of Jose Urena and Tyler Alexander to get through the bulk of the innings on Saturday.
Urena (2-8, 6.19 ERA) has not pitched for the Tigers since July 17 due to a groin injury.
He tossed a total of three innings in two rehab outings with Triple-A Toledo, and he allowed no hits and no runs.
Alexander (2-2, 4.25 ERA) enjoyed his best outing of the season on Aug. 20 in Toronto, when he held the Blue Jays to one run on four hits in seven innings. The left-hander also recorded a season-high six strikeouts, using his changeup to keep batters off-balance.
“He did everything we could have asked and more against that lineup of all right-handed hitters and some really dangerous at-bats,” Hinch said.
Detroit’s Eric Haase likely will be behind the plate for the second consecutive night. Haase was activated from the 10-day injured list on Friday after recovering from an abdominal ailment, and he went 1-for-3 in his return.
“He stabilizes things, obviously can hit in the middle of the order, certainly against a left-handed pitcher,” Hinch said. “He’ll get back to his regular role, probably two (days) on (catching), one off. I may mix in a day in left field. And it’s a big boost to our lineup. He’s a presence, and he swings with intent.”
The Blue Jays are also bringing in reinforcements. They claimed veteran outfielder Jarrod Dyson off waivers from the Kansas City Royals on Friday. Dyson is hitting .221 with eight steals in 77 games this season. He has swiped 264 bases during his career, which began in 2010.
“He can steal bases,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It’s another weapon for us to have.”
Blue Jays center fielder George Springer (knee) could be activated off the 10-day IL as early as Saturday.
–Field Level Media