Sanchez, Blue Jays pitch 2nd shutout in row, top Tigers 3-0
TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Sanchez and four relievers combined to pitch Toronto’s second straight shutout, leading the Blue Jays over the Detroit Tigers 3-0.
The Blue Jays threw just three shutouts all of last season, the second fewest in the majors. Detroit was last with two.
The Tigers were blanked an MLB-leading 18 times in 2018. They’ve scored in only one of 28 innings so far this season.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera left after being hit on the right hand by a pitch from Sanchez to begin the sixth. X-rays were negative.
Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer and that was plenty for the Blue Jays. A day after beating the Tigers 6-0, Toronto limited them to five hits.
Sanchez (1-0) allowed three singles, struck out six and walked three. Blue Jays starting pitchers have combined to work a team-record 19 consecutive scoreless innings to begin the season — the previous mark was eight, set by Jack Morris in 1992.
Left-hander Tim Mayza replaced Sanchez after Cabrera was hit. Mazya struck out Jeimer Candelario and walked Niko Goodrum before both runners advanced on Christin Stewart’s groundout. Righty Daniel Hudson came on and fanned Grayson Greiner to end the inning.
Hudson pitched one inning, Joe Biagini went 1 1/3 innings and Ken Giles finished for his first save.
Detroit right-hander Spencer Turnbull was perfect through three innings before Brandon Drury doubled to lead off the fourth. Billy McKinney followed with an RBI single but was thrown out trying to advance to second. Teoscar Hernandez walked before Smoak lined a homer into Toronto’s left field bullpen, his first.
Turnbull (0-1) allowed three runs and four hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five.
Cabrera’s single in the first was his first of the season and the 2,677th of his career, tying Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio for second most by a Venezuelan-born player. Only Omar Vizquel (2,877) has more.
Tigers: RHP Drew VerHagen (right shoulder) threw a bullpen at Detroit’s spring training facility in Florida on Friday. VerHagen could be activated before Thursday’s home opener.
Blue Jays: INF Richard Urena made his first start of the season as 2B Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got the day off.
Tigers: LHP Matt Moore is 5-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 12 career games against Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP Trent Thornton will make his major league debut. He starts in place of LHP Ryan Borucki (elbow), who is on the 10-day injured list.