Three things: Jays give fans late thrill in loss to Tigers, and play it risky behind the plate


DETROIT—Three things you need to know about the Blue Jays’ 3-1 loss to the Tigers in Detroit on Saturday:

last gasp

The Jays very nearly did the “victory from the jaws of defeat” thing with two out and nobody on in the ninth, down 3-0 against flame-throwing Tigers closer Gregory Soto. Gabriel Moreno smacked his first big-league hit, a line single to center off a 98-mph Soto fastball. Cavan Biggio walked, bringing up George Springer as the tying run. He singled home Moreno, leaving runners on the corners for Bo Bichette, who flied out to deep right to end the game. Rookie Beau Brieske got his first major-league win, scattering seven hits over 5 2/3 shutout innings.

Curious call

In the sixth, Alejandro Kirk pinch-hit for Raimel Tapia against Tigers lefty reliever Andrew Chafin with a runner on second and two out, trailing 2-0. Kirk flied out, and using him left the Jays without a second catcher for the rest of the game. The Jays have had three on the active roster for most of the season, but they’re down to two and whichever one isn’t playing — Kirk or Moreno — is a big threat off the bench. It’s going to be interesting to see how often they leave themselves in a spot where one injury would result in second baseman Santiago Espinal moving behind the plate.

Patience, The Magician

Tigers shortstop Javier Báez walked three times, something the free-swinging veteran had never done before. He had drawn just six walks all season and has a career walk rate of only 4.7 per cent. For Jays fans of a certain vintage, it was like seeing George Bell walk three times in a game. Well, if Bell had ever done it. I never did.

Victor Reyes of the Tigers swipes second base after Jays shortstop Bo Bichette couldn't find the handle on the throw in the first inning Saturday.
Mike Wilner is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star and host of the baseball podcast “Deep Left Field.” Follow him on Twitter: @wilnerness

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