Detroit, MI – Prince Fielder and Jeff Baker each drove in a run as the Detroit Tigers edged the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-2, in the middle test of a three-game set at Comerica Park.
Anibal Sanchez (2-3) allowed two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and struck out six over 6 2/3 innings to pick up his first win in three starts.
"He was obviously much better, pitched very well," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Jose Valverde worked around a two-out single in the ninth to pick up is 25th save of the season. Valverde also became the fifth player in franchise history to record 100 saves.
Edwin Encarnacion and Adieny Hechavarria knocked in a run apiece for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of their last eight.
Aaron Laffey (3-5) was pegged with the loss after giving up all three runs -- two earned -- on five hits. He struck out two and walked three over six-plus innings en route to his third consecutive loss.
Detroit got on the board in the fourth when Omar Infante scored on a wild pitch. Infante ripped a triple to left-center field before Laffey's pitch bounced in front of the plate and past Yorvit Torrealba.
The Tigers added another run in the fifth to go up 2-0. Delmon Young reached on a long single off the right-field fence, moved to second on a sacrifice then scored on Baker's base hit. It looked as if there could be a play at the plate but Moises Sierra's throw was off target and skipped to the backstop, allowing Young to score easily.
Toronto pushed one across in the sixth. With a runner on third and one out Encarnacion ripped a line drive at Andy Dirks in left field. Dirks, who made a brilliant leaping catch to rob Sierra of an extra-base hit in the fourth, took a step back before running towards the liner, but ran right past it and the ball rolled to the fence.
Fielder's RBI single in the home half put the Tigers up 3-1. Jackson reached on a throwing error then moved to second on a sacrifice before Laffey intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera. Fielder followed a bloop single to left field. Jackson was almost thrown out at the plate, but Jeff Mathis couldn't hold onto the throw as Jackson slid into him.
Hechavarria's sacrifice fly in the seventh cut the deficit to 3-2.
Detroit has won five of seven ... The Tigers' pitchers have struck out 1,000 batters for the 13th time in franchise history. So far this season they have struck out 1,007 ... Prior to the game the Blue Jays placed shortstop Yunel Escobar on the paternity list and recalled pitcher Chad Beck from Triple-A Las Vegas ... Toronto fist baseman David Cooper left the game in the sixth inning with what is being called a jammed neck. He was replaced by Mathis.