DETROIT – Danny Jansen was hitless in his first three at-bats when he tried to change his luck — by shaving his moustache.
“Got a hit right after,” the Toronto catcher said. “Maybe I’m a little superstitious.”
Jansen’s two-run single in the sixth inning was just a small part of an offensive onslaught by the Blue Jays, who batted around in the both the fourth and the sixth on their way to a 12-1 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. Marcus Stroman breezed through seven scoreless innings for Toronto, and Teoscar Hernandez homered.
Stroman (6-10) allowed six hits. The All-Star right-hander struck out five with no walks in what was his first career start at Detroit — but it was his battery mate who stole at least some of the spotlight with his unusual midgame grooming decision.
Jansen said he shaved in the dugout, prior to his fourth plate appearance of the night. That turned out to be a single that gave the Blue Jays an 11-0 lead.
Jansen said he did something similar last year, and it worked then too.
“I was DHing, and I did it,” Jansen said. “I struck out my first time, and I went in and shaved and got like a couple hits after, so I gave it another shot tonight.”
“Whatever to get knocks, man,” Stroman said. “He shaved it off, and double-RBI single. Whatever for knocks.”
Hernandez, who has a beard, wasn’t so sure.
“I don’t believe in that stuff,” he said. “Even if I go 0 for 100.”
Toronto scored four runs in the fourth and five in the sixth, sending 10 batters to the plate in each inning. The Tigers lost for the 26th time in their last 29 home games. That does not include a May 19 game in which Detroit was also losing when the contest was suspended.
“We probably played one of our worst games of the season, and our fans deserve a lot better than what we are giving them right now,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It isn’t a matter of not caring — these guys are still getting after it — but we’re making too many silly mistakes. We’re overmatched on a lot of nights, which is why we have to at least make the routine plays. That’s what I’m upset about right now.”
Jordan Zimmermann (0-7) is now winless in his last 16 starts. He allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings, and the right-hander has yielded 20 runs in his last three starts.
Toronto was up 2-0 before loading the bases in the fourth. Hernandez hit an RBI single, Eric Sogard followed with a two-run single, and Freddy Galvis drove in a run with a single of his own.
Hernandez led off the sixth with a homer, and the Blue Jays would go on to score four more runs that inning.
The Tigers are 7-32 since the start of June.
As the deadline approaches, Stroman is a candidate to be traded. He said pitching in front of scouts is no big deal, though.
“Everyone was saying that going into the game. I couldn’t care less, to be honest,” Stroman said. “I feel like you could watch a game from home, the same as watching from behind. As far as spin rate and all the things that they get as far as video, I don’t even know why they show up.”
Before the game, the Blue Jays optioned LHP Thomas Pannone to Triple-A Buffalo to make room on the major league roster for RHP Wilmer Font. The New York Mets traded Font to Toronto earlier in the week.
Blue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki (elbow) is expected to start Monday against Cleveland in what would be his season debut.
Tigers: Detroit reinstated OF JaCoby Jones (back) from the injured list. He had three hits.
Blue Jays: Toronto sends RHP Trent Thornton (3-7) to the mound Saturday night in the second game of this series at Detroit.
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (2-8) starts for Detroit.
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