Tigers Win over Blue Jays Sparked By Colt Keith’s First Home Run

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Rookie Colt Keith hit his first career home run, sparking the Detroit Tigers to a much-needed 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park. This win not only snapped their five-game losing streak but also split the first two games of the series.

Maeda’s Strong Return from DL

Tigers’ starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, back from a short stint on the disabled list, opened the game with a solid first inning despite a slight hiccup. After quickly retiring the first two batters, Maeda surrendered a line-drive double to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The inning could have spiraled when Bo Bichette followed with a single, but Kerry Carpenter’s slick fielding and throw home allowed catcher Carson Kelly to tag out Guerrero Jr., ending the inning without damage. Maeda wrapped up the inning with 15 pitches, 10 for strikes, showing no signs of lingering effects from his recent illness.

Early Lead Secured by Keith’s Milestone

The game’s momentum shifted in the second inning when Colt Keith stepped up to the plate with two outs and nobody on. Battling through an eight-pitch at-bat, Keith hammered an 88-mph changeup from Blue Jays’ starter Alex Manoah over the right field fence, marking his first career home run and giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

Tigers’ Pitching Dominates; Offense Wakes Up

Maeda continued to suppress the Blue Jays’ offense, cruising through five innings with minimal resistance. The Tigers’ bats came alive in the fourth inning, beginning with a Riley Greene double (that was nearly a triple but was revised after replay review). The inning escalated when Mark Canha reached on an infield single and Kerry Carpenter walked, loading the bases. Matt Vierling’s sacrifice fly turned into more as a fielding error allowed him to reach first and another run to score. Colt Keith was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing in another run, and Zach McKinstry grounded out to drive in the fourth run of the inning.

The Tigers’ offensive momentum carried into the fifth inning, where Kerry Carpenter’s two-run homer off Manoah extended the lead to 6-0, firmly putting the game in Detroit’s control.

Blue Jays’ Late Rally Falls Short

Leading 6-0 in the ninth, Tigers’ relief pitcher Andrew Chafin aimed to close out the game but stumbled. He allowed back-to-back singles and a subsequent run. Alejandro Kirk added another run with a hard-hit grounder that was too deep for shortstop Zach McKinstry to throw over to first, making it 6-2.

With the game slightly slipping, manager A.J. Hinch called on Jason Foley. Foley entered the game and secured the final out in three pitches, notching the save.

Statistical Highlights

Kenta Maeda’s final line was impressive: 5 innings pitched, no runs, four hits, one strikeout, and zero walks.

Colt Keith and Kerry Carpenter were the offensive standouts. Keith went 2-for-3, includinig his first career home run. Carpenter added a home run and two RBIs.

Tigers Look to Continue Momentum

With this win, the Tigers aim to build on their newfound momentum in the remaining two games of the series.

The next matchup features Tigers’ Reese Olson against Blue Jays’ José Berríos on Saturday at 1:10 pm ET.

Casey Mize faces southpaw Yusei Kikuchi on Sunday at 11:35 am ET.

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For more from our Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21

Contact: Broder@woodwardsports.com

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Original Photo Credit: © Kamil Krzaczynski – USA TODAY Sports