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The big inning costs Stroman in 5-4 Blue Jays loss

Woulda thought that Kevin Pillar would ground into a triple play?

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Tigers 5 Blue Jays 4

Opening up a weekend matchup of two former bitter rivals with very little to play for this year, the Jays had their chances, but ultimately dug themselves too deep a whole and couldn't draw even.

They had their chances, starting in the 1st as Buck Farmer was off early and issued back to back walks after striking out Steve Pearce (who left the game after that with back stiffness). But the Jays failed to capitalize with a pair of flyout.

Meanwhile, Marcus Stroman was rolling. He down the side in order on 10 pitches in the first, repeated the feat in the 2nd and had himself on verge of a perfect first time through the order after two groundouts to start the 3rd.

Of course, things went right off rails. A double, single, and walk later the bases were loaded for Nick Castellanos. He hit a fly ball to centre that Pillar lost in the lights. It was moot; as it sailed over the fence for a grand slam and the Tigers were up 4-0. He allowed another couple singles, though prevented any more damage. Stroman only allowed one more runner over his next three innings.

For their part, the bats went quiet, with just a two out double by Jose Bautista over the next three innings. After the second walk referenced above, Farmer set down 13 of 14 batters. The Jays finally got on the board, as Richard Urena singled with two outs and came home on a bloop by Teoscar Hernandez that was almost caught by squibbled off the glove for a double.

The bottom of the 6th was very promising. Bautista reached on a strikeout that got away, Justin Smoak bashed a single to move him up and he came around on a Kendrys Morales single. The Tigers went to the bullpen as Pillar came up. He lashed a ground ball down the third base line...that the third baseman snared moving towards third, touched the bag, flipped to second and then on to first, just barely nipping Pillar for the rare triple. It was the perfect set of circumstances once again aligning against Pillar.

Danny Barnes relieved Stroman, and quickly got the first two batter before Ian Kinsler drove one into the bullpen in left field to extend the lead to 5-2, this run proving to be extremely consequential. He was followed by perfect innings from Tom Koehler and Ryan Tepera.

The Jays made one last gasp in the 8th inning, Richard Urena went opposite field for his first major league home run, fielded by Chris Rowley in the left field bullpen. A batter later Bautista followed it up with much deeper shot, and it was a one run game at 5-4. But that was it, the only subsequent batter to each was a two out pinch hit walk by Michael Saunders.

Jays of the Day: Bautista (+0.211 WPA). Honourable mention to Richard Urena (+0.71, I'd give him one anyway but he should't have made that throw)

Suckage: Pillar (-0.372), Stroman (-0.169), Montero (-0.101 for the last out of the game). Darwin Barney (-0.083) can have one too.

Tomorrow is a southpaw duel, Chad Bell taking on Brett Anderson in an absolutely can't miss matchup at 4:05 EDT (trial run for later start times?)