Jays thrive as spoilers

MIKE RUTSEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

DETROIT -- Pennant fever was not exactly bubbling out of Comerica Park last night.

Although the Tigers sit atop the Central Division and hold a comfortable 51/2 game lead over the Twins, there was little buzz emanating from the stands.

Even though 31,575 attended last night's game between the former fierce rivals, the majority of them imitated Jays fans by sitting on their hands.

There is just over three weeks remaining in the regular season and over on the Jays side there is nothing left to play for, actually there hasn't been for quite some time.

Every so often, though, the Jays rev up their engines just enough to roll out a win and last night was one of those occasions as they downed the Tigers 6-4, the loss the fourth in a row for Detroit.

The Jays last night had a familiar look as second baseman Aaron Hill was back from Florida and the birth of his daughter and made his first start since departing last Sunday's game to be home for the big event. He chipped in with four hits -- three of them bloop singles -- and scored the go-ahead run in the fourth.

The only negative for the Jays last night was Adam Lind being forced to leave the game after the sixth inning with a right shin contusion.

He was hit on the shin by Armando Galarraga in the sixth inning and was replaced by Travis Snider. He's listed as day-to-day.

This one shouldn't have been close as the Jays received eight walks and had two players hit by pitches to go with their 12 hits. They left 15 runners on base.

"Early in the game we kind of let them get away a couple of times," manager Cito Gaston said.

The Jays also showed a little power as Rod Barajas hit a solo shot in the seventh, No. 17, while fan favourite Randy Ruiz hit a two-run blast, his seventh homer but his first with a man on base.

The best Jay this game, though, was gangly lefty Brian Tallet who was making his 22nd start of the season and his 34th appearance.

He was simply terrific as he held the Tigers to two runs over 61/3 innings while striking out seven to equal his career high.

"He probably had his best stuff tonight, he pitched real well," Gaston said.

It was his second consecutive win and bumped him to 7-9 on the season.

"The main thing was location with pitches," Tallet said. "I was able to locate enough pitches to get through six."

To go with the location he also had good stuff as evidenced by his seven strikeouts.

"I'm not going to lie, my stuff was pretty good tonight, the best it's been in a while," Tallet said. "A lot of that has to do with location too."

His past two starts have brought him wins against two teams headed for the post-season, the Yankees and now the Tigers.

"We're trying to go out there and put together good games day in and day out," Tallet said. "If we can do that we can become a spoiler."

MIKE.RUTSEY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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