DETROIT—Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched a grand slam and Brandon Drury added a two-run homer in the Blue Jays’ come-from-behind 7-5 victory over the Tigers on Saturday night.
Jays starter Trent Thornton seemed frustrated as umpires at Comerica Park sent the tilt into a rain delay three pitches into the bottom of the fourth, but the break proved to be just the ticket. Toronto trailed 3-1 heading into the 59-minute delay, including a two-run homer by Tigers first baseman Brandon Dixon. Detroit starter Daniel Norris, pitching against his old team, had allowed five hits but just one run.
Neither pitcher returned after the delay. For the Jays, recently acquired Wilmer Font came on in relief and gave up a two-run homer by John Hicks to increase the Tigers’ lead to four. But Toronto’s bats got rolling against Detroit’s Gregory Soto, just recalled from Triple-A after the Tigers put standout rookie Spencer Turnbull on the injured list because of an upper-back strain.
Freddy Galvis — now 6-for-9 in the series — singled, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled and Randal Grichuk walked to load the bases for Guerrero in the fifth. His long ball landed in the cedar hedge in deep centre field — eventually fished out and later delivered to Guerrero.
“I hit it good, we won, so it’s all good,” said Guerrero, who planned to give the ball to his dad, as he often does.
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Drury’s home run an inning later cashed in Teoscar Hernandez, who had singled.
- Slam jam: Guerrero, now 5-for-9 with six RBIs after two games at Comerica, is the 11th Jays rookie to hit a grand slam — and the third this season. Guerrero, Rowdy Tellez and Cavan Biggio have combined for four grand slams, tying a major league rookie mark shared by nine other teams. At 20 years and 126 days, Guerrero is also the sixth-youngest player in American League history to hit a slam. “He’s having good at-bats now,” said Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. “That’s the Vladdy that we know. That’s what he can do. That’s what we’re waiting for, everybody was waiting for. He’s looking good at the plate now and that’s a good sign for us.”
- Font’s debut: Font, acquired from the New York Mets for cash this past week, settled down in his second inning of work and retired all three batters he faced, striking out four overall. It was his first big-league appearance since July 7, and first win since June 30.
- Trade watch: Closer Ken Giles made his second appearance of the road trip after suffering from some nerve issues in his pitching elbow out of the all-star break. The right-hander gave up a leadoff double to Dixon in the ninth, then struck out the next three batters for his 14th save. “He looked pretty good tonight,” said Montoyo, adding that Giles was unlikely to be available Sunday as a precaution.
- Up next: Rookie right-hander Jacob Waguespack (1-0, 5.93) is expected to make his second start for the Jays in the 1 p.m. series finale. The Tigers had yet to announce a starter.
Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy