DETROIT — In a game that was scoreless until the ninth inning, Brett Lawrie's three-run homer highlighted a big burst for the Blue Jays in a 5-3 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night.
After eight innings of crisp baseball between the AL East and AL Central leaders, both bullpens came unglued in the ninth. Toronto broke through against Joe Nathan.
J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth for the Tigers. Casey Janssen came on and struck out Don Kelly to end it.
Nathan, whose ERA is an unsightly 6.86 in his first year with Detroit, walked Anthony Gose to start the ninth, Toronto's first baserunner since the fourth. Gose stole second and went to third on Jose Reyes' single. After Melky Cabrera's popup, Jose Bautista put the Blue Jays ahead with a single up the middle.
Bautista's grounder slipped between shortstop Andrew Romine and second baseman Ian Kinsler. Romine appeared to shy away at the last second, as if Kinsler's presence distracted him.
Nathan nearly picked Reyes off third, but the safe call was upheld after a replay review. After Edwin Encarnacion walked to load the bases, pinch-hitter Kevin Pillar hit a sacrifice fly off Ian Krol.
Lawrie then went deep off Al Alburquerque.