Baseball / Sports

Tigers rookies hit back-to-back homers in 9th to beat Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Back-to-back home runs by Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez in the ninth inning propelled the Tigers to victory.

Castellanos hit a two-run home run to left with one out in the ninth. Suarez, who missed the previous three games with a knee injury, followed with a home run to center.

The Tigers went on to beat the Blue Jays, 5-4, at Rogers Centre on Friday night.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez left the game in the fifth inning with a right pectoralis strain. He'll be re-evaluated Saturday.

Trainer Kevin Rand and manager Brad Ausmus came out to check on Sanchez with two outs in the fifth, Sanchez threw one warm-up pitch and then walked off the mound and into the dugout.

Left-handed pitcher Blaine Hardy was then brought in to replace Sanchez, who gave up four runs (three earned) on 10 hits with one walk and three strikeouts. It was the shortest outing for Sanchez since he threw 2 2/3 innings at Minnesota on April 26. Sanchez left that game with a blister and went on the disabled list.

It looked like another dismal offensive performance for the Tigers before the ninth inning home runs.

The Tigers stranded a runner at third in each of the first two innings. With runners on second and third in the third inning, Ian Kinsler delivered a two-run single to center to cut the deficit to 4-2.

The Blue Jays scored once in the first and three times in the second.

Sanchez gave up a two-out walk to Jose Bautista in the first. Dioner Navarro followed with a single and Danny Valencia's line drive single to left brought home Bautista.

Munenori Kawasaki was credited with a double to left to start the bottom of the second. J.D. Martinez appeared as though he would run the ball down, but it bounced out of his glove. Kawasaki advanced to second a sacrifice bunt by Josh Thole and came home on a perfectly executed squeeze by Ryan Goins, who was safe on a close play at first. The Tigers challenged the call at first and lost. Sanchez then gave up three consecutive hits to Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista. Cabrera knocked in one run with his single to left and Reyes advanced to third on a fielding error by J.D. Martinez. Reyes then scored on Bautista's single to right.

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