Toronto Blue Jays' Brett Lawrie (13) and Jose Reyes celebrate their 7-3 win against the Detroit Tigers in a baseball game in Detroit

Jays ‘feeling good’ after sweep of Tigers

John Gibbons was all smiles in the visiting manager’s office after his Toronto Blue Jays wrapped up yet another sweep of one of the American League’s most successful teams. “We’re feeling good right now,” Gibbons said. “We’re confident, and we’re playing good baseball. We’re rolling.”

DETROIT — John Gibbons was all smiles in the visiting manager’s office after his Toronto Blue Jays wrapped up yet another sweep of one of the American League’s most successful teams.

“We’re feeling good right now,” Gibbons said. “We’re confident, and we’re playing good baseball. We’re rolling.”

Juan Francisco and Brett Lawrie hit consecutive home runs in the sixth inning off Justin Verlander, and the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a 7-3 victory Thursday. The AL East-leading Blue Jays have won 19 of 23, including sweeps of defending champion Boston, AL West-leading Oakland and AL Central-leading Detroit.

“It’s a great atmosphere — we’ve got a lot of positivity in here,” Lawrie said. “Everyone likes to have fun, and everybody’s comfortable with one another.”

J.A. Happ (5-2) allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings for Toronto. Casey Janssen got the final out for his 10th save in 11 chances. He needed only one pitch to retire Nick Castellanos on a line drive to left with two on.

Melky Cabrera also homered for the Blue Jays.

Verlander (6-5) allowed six runs — five earned — and eight hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out four. Toronto scored three runs each in the fourth and sixth.

“My fastball was great today, but I just missed some off-speed pitches,” Verlander said. “If I execute those four or five pitches, this would have been a fantastic game. I feel like I’m turning the corner with the mechanical adjustments I’ve made. I know the results don’t reflect that, but I felt great out there.”

With the score tied at 3, Adam Lind drew a leadoff walk in the sixth. Francisco followed with a homer to right, and Lawrie’s drive to left made it 6-3.

“Against a guy like that, you can’t really be on your heels,” said Lawrie, who did not have an at-bat against Verlander before Thursday. “You’ve got to be ready to go. Worked a couple good at-bats against him today, and ended up putting one in play, and it ended up being big for us.”

It was the 10th homer of the season for both Francisco and Lawrie. Toronto has hit a major league-leading 87. The Blue Jays won despite the absence of Edwin Encarnacion, who missed the game with a back issue.

The Tigers are still in first place, but they should no longer feel too comfortable after dropping 13 of their last 17. The last time Detroit endured a 4-13 stretch spanned the end of the 2010 season and the beginning of 2011, according to STATS. In 2011, of course, the Tigers began a streak of three straight division titles they’re now hoping to extend.

Detroit scored twice in the third and once in the fifth, but the Blue Jays had an answer each time.

Ian Kinsler opened the scoring for Detroit with an RBI triple and scored on Torii Hunter’s sacrifice fly. But Jose Bautista led off the fourth with a flyball that Hunter and centre fielder Austin Jackson each seemed to expect the other to catch. Hunter ended up trying to make the play at the last second, and the right fielder was charged with a two-base error.

The Blue Jays eventually loaded the bases with one out, and Dioner Navarro hit an RBI single. Erik Kratz followed with a two-run single to put Toronto ahead.

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month