Sometimes, all it takes is one player with a hot bat, and on Wednesday night at the Rogers Centre, Miguel Cabrera had that hot bat for Detroit.
Cabrera’s two long balls were all the offense the Tigers needed, as his three-run home run in the first was upstaged only by his deep bomb in the fifth. His fifth inning blast bounced off the facing of the second deck before settling on the field below.
But the deep ball didn’t only come from Cabrera alone.
Teammate Brandon Inge hit his third home run of the young season, too. Not since 1954 had a Detroit Tiger hit three home runs in each of the first three games of the season.
Jays’ starting pitcher Jesse Litsch seemed to have a blemish of some kind in every inning he pitched. His only three up-three down inning came in the third.
But homers in the first, fifth and six, and runners in scoring position in the second and fourth spelled a rocky start for the 24-year-old. He was pulled after the sixth for Jason Frasor, who then proceeded to get three quick outs.
“Three home runs, that’s self-explanatory,” Litsch said. “Cabrera hit two sinkers, and Inge hit a cutter. So it was all fastballs, they were just up in the zone.”
Even Litsch’s five strikeouts were undone by the five earned runs and three home runs.
Not helping matters was the silence of Toronto's bats for the first time this season. After a late comeback the night before, and a shelling on Opening Day, the Jays managed just six hits and a single run.
“We had a chance to get back in the ball game but we didn’t do that either,” Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “Just one of those nights we’ve got to put behind us and move on.”
Toronto managed just three hits after the first inning, and Marco Scutaro by far had the best night, going 2-for-4 with a double.
Cabrera showed his offensive flair early with a three-run blast on his first pitch from Jesse Litsch. His first of the year gave the Tigers an early 3-0 lead.
Litsch followed it up by striking out the next batter, Carlos Guillen.
Back-to-back doubles to start the Jays' half of the first, as Scutaro hit a two-bagger, and Aaron Hill also legged out a double to score Scutaro.
Scutaro’s run put the Jays on the board, down 3-1.
The Jays even had the bases juiced in the first with no one out, but Adam Lind grounded into a fielder's choice, as Hill was put out at the plate.
Scott Rolen flied out to Tiger right fielder Josh Anderson, who then gunned down Alex Rios trying to tag from third.
“I’ll take my chances on doing that every night and see what happens,” Gaston said referring to loading the bases with none out.
The Jays got their chances, but just couldn’t capitalize. The core of the lineup just went cold, and the bottom third of the batting order didn’t reach base at all Wednesday.
Curtis Granderson caught the last out—a deep fly ball from Lyle Overbay—silencing any hope of a Toronto comeback.
On a night when the beer was finally flowing again after Tuesday's dry night at the dome, you could catch a buzz about as well as a fly ball. There was a sparse crowd, however, with only 12,145 in attendance.
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