Detroit Tigers win with bases-loaded walk in 11th inning
DETROIT — The Tigers’ top players created a winning rally without doing much of anything.
Alex Avila, Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera drew walks in the 11th inning, the last with the bases loaded, giving Detroit a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
“That’s how experience wins games,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Young guys are going up there thinking about a walk-off homer and swinging as soon as they see the white of the ball. Veterans are patient enough to wait for what the pitcher gives them.”
Avila was walked by Jeff Beliveau (1-1) leading off the 11th and advanced on Jose Iglesias’ sacrifice.
“It’s tempting to try to do too much in extra innings, but we had the right guys up there,” Avila said. “You have to be disciplined enough to wait for a pitch down the middle before you try to make something happen.”
Lucas Harrell relieved, Ian Kinsler lined out and third baseman Josh Donaldson fielded Nicholas Castellanos’ grounder down the line and then bobbled the ball while pulling it out of his glove for an error that put runners at the corners.
Upton walked on a 3-1 pitch, loading the bases, and Harrell fell behind Cabrera 3-1. The two-time AL MVP took a called strike, fouled off a pitch, then took a fastball outside for ball four, giving Detroit two victories in three games following the All-Star break.
Toronto wasted leads of 3-0 and 5-4.
Warwick Saupold (2-1) got the win with a scoreless 11th.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings, including home runs by Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales and Jose Bautista.