Tigers take down Jays in extras as Thornton's record debut wasted

Nicholas Castellanos' RBI single in the 11th helped the Detroit Tigers edge the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

Toronto starter sets franchise mark for strikeouts in 1st game

Toronto shortstop Richard Urena is tagged out at home plate by Detroit catcher Grayson Greiner during the tenth inning of the Blue Jays' 4-3 loss to the Tigers in extra innings on Sunday. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

When Aaron Sanchez exited his start on Saturday he had a simple message for Trent Thornton: don't mess it up.

The rookie right-hander was confused at first, before realizing Sanchez was referring to the string of scoreless innings Blue Jays starters had amassed to start the season.

Thornton pitched five scoreless innings in his big league debut, but did not factor into the decision as the Blue Jays fell 4-3 in 11 innings to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

"It was pretty much everything I ever dreamed of since I was four years old," said Thornton who surrendered two hits while striking out eight. "I was able to go out there and kind of show I belonged there, had my family out to witness that, it was really special."

Nicholas Castellanos delivered an RBI single in the 11th and Daniel Stumpf (1-0) picked up the win as the Tigers (2-2) earned a split of the series with the Blue Jays (2-2). Shane Greene provided the save in the victory.

WATCH | Blue Jays, Tigers split season-opening series:

Nicholas Castellanos' RBI single in the 11th inning was the difference as the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3, splitting the season-opening series. 1:51

Thomas Pannone (0-1) was saddled with the loss.

In the fifth, Thornton got Mikie Mahtook swinging to record his eighth strikeout of the afternoon setting a new franchise record for strikeouts in a major league debut. The record was previously held by Matthew Boyd and Marc Rzepczynski who each recorded seven strikeouts in their respective debuts.

Toronto starters have now combined for a franchise-best 24 shutout innings to start the season — the first team to do so since the 1994 Atlanta Braves' starters tossed a combined 25 scoreless frames.

"That's the main [reason] we've been in every game: pitching and defence. I feel really good about it," said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. "They have been outstanding, the whole rotation, they've been pretty good. We have a chance every day."

With Tim Mayza on in relief, Niko Goodrum led off the seventh with a double and later scored on a bases-loaded walk issued to Jordy Mercer by Javy Guerra. Jeimer Candelario then singled to left scoring a pair of runs.

Candelario finished the afternoon going 5-for-6 with a pair of RBIs in the win.

Elvis Luciano became the youngest pitcher in Blue Jays history to make an appearance when he came on in relief of Guerra with two out in the seventh. The 19-year-old is also the first player born in the 2000s to appear in a Major League game.

"He was really good. He impresses me with that, being that young and in that situation when he came in, he gave us a chance," Montoyo said. "He gave us a chance to tie the game. He's been very good.

"He's got the stuff to compete in the big leagues, 95, 94 with good changeup."


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