MLB

Blue Jays hold Tigers scoreless in win, snapping 3-game losing streak

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven scoreless innings, and Randal Grichuk smacked a two-run homer in the second inning to halt the Blue Jays three-game losing streak.

Grichuk belts 21st homer, Ryu pitches 7 scoreless innings in 3-0 win

Randal Grichuk's two-run home run which scored teammate Santiago Espinal in the second inning of the Blue Jays Saturday win against the Detroit Tigers in Toronto (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press)

Hyun Jin Ryu hopes his sound pitching performance precipitates better times ahead for the Blue Jays.

Ryu was magnificent in a 3-0 Toronto win against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday to halt a three-game losing streak and provide the Blue Jays with only their second victory in nine outings.

The 34-year-old tossed seven scoreless innings, struck out five, allowed five hits and walked only one to earn his 12th win and tie him for the American League lead with Chris Bassitt of the Oakland Athletics and Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees.

"It felt like we turned it around today," Ryu said through a translator.

With the Tigers (59-66) taking the series opener on Friday 4-1 in 10 innings, the Blue Jays (64-57) can't afford to lose a third series in a row for the first time in 2021 if they hope to stay in the AL wild-card race.

The Jays arrived home to Rogers Centre having lost two of three in Seattle and were swept in their two-game mini series in Washington.

"I hope so," said Marcus Semien when asked if he had the same feeling of a turnaround as Ryu. "You never can get too high or too low.

"It's hard for me to get super happy after a win and sad after a loss. To me, it's not a healthy way to go about things."

Semien was stoked, however, to have smashed his 30th homer of the season in the eighth. The solo blast marked just the second time he has reached the 30-homer milestone, and he continues a push to catch Aaron Hill's middle-infielder Blue Jays record of 36 homers, set in 2009.

'Slow starter'

Randal Grichuk spotted his club a 2-0 lead with a two-run shot to left in the second inning for his 21st. The two Toronto homers increased its total to a Major League Baseball-leading 186.

The timely Grichuk homer was only his second in 23 games. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo had a chat with his outfielder before the game.

"He's usually a slow starter," Montoyo said. "This year has been the reverse. I told him there was still plenty of time to finish the season strong."

Ryu's good outing arrived after a pair of starts in which he struggled.

"He was on — both sides of the plate," Semien said. "They couldn't key on anything."

Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera continued to struggle in his chase for his 500th career homer. He hit No. 499 on Aug. 11 and now has gone eight games in his attempt to become the 28th player in history to join the 500-homer club.

Cabrera did work Ryu for a walk in the seventh inning, but he has gone 0 for 8 in the series against the Blue Jays and was struck out by Toronto reliever Jordan Romano to end the game on Saturday.

Grichuk's game-deciding blast was the only grave blemish for Detroit starter Wily Peralta. He went six innings, gave up six hits, a walk and struck out two.

Despite their recent struggles, the Blue Jays have performed well with 10 wins in 13 games since returning to Rogers Centre on July 30 after a 22-month absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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