Stuck in an 11-game losing streak http://www.officialsharks.com/authen...couture-jersey , the Detroit Tigers cleared the air with a pregame meeting. Then Nick Castellanos went out and cleared the bases with an important home run that helped stop Detroit’s slide.

Castellanos hit his fourth career grand slam, Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven strong innings and the Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-1 on Sunday.

Manager Ron Gardenhire scheduled the pregame meeting, a relaxed session in which players were invited to say whatever was on their mind. Castellanos called it an opportunity to ”just kind of address the elephant in the room.”

”It gave anybody a chance that wanted to speak up to speak up,” said Castellanos, adding that Victor Martinez, James McCann and Gardenhire were among those who talked.

JaCoby Jones hit a two-run homer as the Tigers won for the first time since June 17, when they completed a three-game road sweep of the Chicago White Sox.

Castellanos nearly hit another home run in the ninth but Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar made a leaping catch at the wall.

”I felt like I was going to have a chance to make a play,” Pillar said. ”A ball like that hit as high as it is it allows me time to kind of track the ball and track the fence and go up to try to make a play. ”

Castellanos stopped on the basepaths to applaud Pillar’s catch before turning and heading back to the dugout.

”What else can you say the end of the day besides `What a play,”’ Castellanos said. ”It sucks it had to happen to me but plays like that have to happen to somebody.”

Niko Goodrum had a career-high four hits and Jose Iglesias had two hits and two RBIs for Detroit, which had lost 12 of 14 at Rogers Centre.

”That was a fun win, a really fun with with a lot of great swings,” Gardenire said.

Zimmermann (3-0) allowed one run and five hits in his third start since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month.

”He had a great curveball today,” Gardenhire said. ”That’s probably the best curveball I’ve seen all year out of him.”

Wearing red jerseys and caps for Canada Day, the Blue Jays couldn’t deliver a win for the holiday crowd of 37,445.

Tigers outfielder Leonys Martin left with a sore left hamstring after his bases-loaded bunt single in the fifth brought home Detroit’s first run. Martin was replaced by Victor Reyes.

Following the game, Gardenhire said Martin would be placed on the 10-day disabled list. A corresponding roster move will be made before Monday afternoon’s series finale.

Castellanos followed with his 13th home run Martin Jones Jersey , a shot that bounced off the top of the wall in right. It was his first grand slam since Sept. 8, 2017, also against Toronto.

Castellanos also made a fine catch in right, reaching back to grab Russell Martin’s line drive for the final out of the fourth.

Iglesias chased Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (10-4) with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth.

Happ matched season-worsts by allowing seven runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings.

”It’s not a pretty outing and I own that,” Happ said.

Happ had won six consecutive decisions since his previous defeat, May 10 against Seattle.

Teoscar Hernandez tripled in the first and scored on a two-out double by Justin Smoak, but Zimmermann recovered to retire the next nine Blue Jays batters.

For the second straight game, the roof was closed at Rogers Centre because of high heat and humidity.

MUSIC MAN

Blue Jays RHP John Axford complied a list of more than 500 songs by Canadian artists and has been playing his mix in the clubhouse all weekend. Axford’s `Oh Canada!’ playlist can be streamed using the online music service Spotify.

NOT YOUR DAY

The Blue Jays are 14-26 on Canada Day, including a 12-17 mark at home.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Alex Wilson, who left in the eighth inning Saturday because of a sore left calf, was not available. … RHP Drew VerHagen (nasal fracture) pitched one scoreless inning for Triple-A Toledo Saturday night, his first rehab appearance. VerHagen has been out since June 20.

Blue Jays: Toronto optioned utilityman Darnell Sweeney to Triple-A Buffalo after the game and will make a corresponding roster move Monday.

UP NEXT

Tigers RHP Mike Fiers (5-4, 4.04) faces Blue Jays LHP Ryan Borucki (0-1, 3.00) in Monday afternoon’s series finale. Fiers is 0-2 with a 5.91 ERA in two career starts at Rogers Centre. Borucki made his major league debut at Houston last Tuesday, allowing two runs in six innings.




CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians have spent much of the first half of the season looking for a dependable No. 5 starter for their rotation to slot in behind Corey Kluber Melker Karlsson Jersey , Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger.

The Indians think they might now have found their No. 5, and he will be on the mound Friday night at Progressive Field against the Detroit Tigers.

He’s 23-year-old right-hander Shane Bieber. A fourth-round pick by the Indians in the 2016 draft out of UC Santa Barbara, Bieber (1-0, 3.97 ERA) will be making his third start for the Indians, which he landed with his strong performance in the minor leagues this year.

In a combined 12 starts at Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, Bieber was 10-5 with a 1.29 ERA. In 76 innings, he struck out 72 and only walked six.

Bieber is a premier strike thrower. In 2017, pitching at three minor league levels, he was 10-5 with a 2.86 ERA. In 173 innings, he had 162 strikeouts and only 10 walks.

Bieber’s last major league start came June 17, a 4-1 win over Minnesota, in which he pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up one run, 10 hits, with seven strikeouts and one walk.

“He comes as advertised. He threw a lot of strikes, with one walk. He gave up a lot of hits Saints Cheap Jerseys , but because he didn’t walk anyone, and executed a lot of good pitches with men on base, he came away allowing just one run,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Bieber has made two spot starts for the Indians this year, but after his last one, team officials decided to give Bieber a longer look in the rotation.

“This is the first time he’s pitched for us and not gone back down (to the minors) after he pitched,” Francona said. “I think settling into a routine at the big-league level will be good for him. To be able to watch guys like (Corey) Kluber during the week will really help. The people in our player development department rave about his temperament, his makeup and his work ethic.”

The Indians come into Friday’s game riding a four-game winning streak in which they have outscored their opposition 28-6. That includes a three-game sweep of the White Sox in which they outscored Chicago 24-5.

Bieber’s mound opponent Friday night will be right-hander Mike Fiers, who has pitched well against Cleveland during his career.

In two starts against the Indians this year, Fiers is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA, having allowed two runs and eight hits in 13 innings with 13 strikeouts and two walks. In six career starts against Cleveland, Fiers is 3-1 with a 2.04 ERA.

Fiers’ last start was a 4-3 Tigers win over the Chicago White Sox on June 15. Fiers worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk. He did not get the decision.

Although the Tigers are three games below .500 at 36-39, they come into Friday’s game in second place in the American League Central, five games behind the division-leading Indians. Detroit had a five-game winning streak snapped by losing both games of a brief two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday with Cincinnati.