The Associated Press
DETROIT–The Toronto Blue Jays are going to enjoy today’s day off after all.
Justin Smoak had three hits, including a homer, and drove in three runs to help the Jays end a five-game losing streak with an 8-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers yesterday afternoon.
“This takes some pressure off all of us,” Smoak said. “Every one of us was trying to make the play that ended the streak, but now we can just focus on winning the next game.”
Aaron Sanchez (3-5) pitched six innings and ended a five-start winless streak, giving up one run on two hits and three walks while striking out seven.
“I’m not sure what was different, to be honest,” he remarked. “I was aggressive but I try to do that every game.
“I guess I was just hitting the strike zone more often.”
Michael Fulmer (2-5) allowed four runs on five hits and three walks in six-plus innings, striking out three.
Fulmer has a 6.89 ERA in his past six starts.
“I’ll be back when I start helping us win some games again,” he said.
“Sanchez was good today, and I needed to be better.”
Sanchez and Fulmer kept the game scoreless through five innings.
Fulmer walked Yangervis Solante with two outs in the sixth, then Smoak hit a 3-2 fastball over the scoreboard in right-centerfield to give the Jays a 2-0 lead.
“We knew getting the first runs was going to be big, with the way both Fulmer and Aaron were pitching,” Smoak said.
“You always know if it going to be tough to get to [Fulmer] because he’s got two great pitches with the fastball and slider.”
Fulmer gave up a single and a walk to start the seventh, and was replaced by Warwick Saupold.
“That’s what we really needed,” said Jays’ manager John Gibbons.
“We had a bunch of guys step up with big hits, and we were able to hold them off at the end.”
The Tigers scored three runs off three Toronto pitchers in the bottom of the inning but Ryan Tepara retired five-straight batters to end the game.
Elsewhere in the AL, N.Y. Minnesota topped Cleveland 7-5, Boston dumped Houston 9-3, Oakland beat Kansas City 5-1, L.A. downed Texas 3-1, and Seattle edged Tampa Bay 2-1.
New York at Baltimore was postponed.
Over in the NL, Chicago beat New York 2-0, Atlanta downed Washington 4-2, St. Louis blanked Pittsburgh 5-0, L.A. topped Colorado 10-7, San Francisco dumped Philadelphia 6-1, Arizona upended Miami 6-1, and San Diego doubled Cincinnati 6-3
The Chicago White Sox beat Milwaukee 6-1 in interleague play.