A rainbow appeared in the sky over Comerica Park following a 26-minute rain delay Friday night, the only in-game treat for Detroit Tigers fans as the organization began its “Summer Bash Weekend” with a crippling performance.
The Tigers have promoted the celebration — scheduled from Friday though Sunday — since the beginning of the month, but for Friday’s series opener, Toronto Blue Jays fans appeared to outnumber Tigers supporters in the lower bowl behind home plate.
In front of 26,226 fans (of either team), the Tigers were throttled 10-1 by the Blue Jays to start a 10-game homestand.
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The Tigers (23-34) had another weak offensive showing with five hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios, who entered Friday with a 5.24 ERA in 11 starts, fired eight innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts.
Javier Báez, who signed a six-year, $140 million contract in December, received plenty of boos from the crowd after his strikeout in the fifth inning. He is hitting .196 with 50 strikeouts in 46 games this season.
Miguel Cabrera, hitting .297 in 49 games, recorded the Tigers’ first hit against Berrios with a two-out single in the fourth inning and finished 1-for-3 before being lifted for pinch-hitter Eric Haase in the ninth inning. The other four hits came from Harold Castro, Robbie Grossman, Spencer Torkelson and Derek Hill.
The Tigers scored their lone run on Willi Castro’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Castro replaced Robbie Grossman, who exited with an apparent injury after fouling a ball off his leg.
Berrios improved his ERA to 4.73.
Blue Jays leadoff hitter George Springer went 3-for-3 with a walk (first inning), a single (fourth inning), a home run (second inning) and a double (sixth inning). He was a triple shy of the cycle when he was replaced by pinch-hitter Bradley Zimmer in the seventh inning.
Toronto scored its 10 runs on 15 hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
By the time the rainbow appeared, marking the end of the third-inning rain delay, the Blue Jays had already ambushed Tigers starter Elvin Rodriguez for six runs. The 24-year-old allowed eight runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 4⅓ innings.
The Blue Jays blasted three homers against Rodriguez.
In last Friday’s start, Rodriguez allowed 10 runs on 11 hits and two walks over 4⅓ innings in the Tigers’ 13-0 loss to the New York Yankees. He gave up four home runs to the Yankees and admitted to tipping his pitches.
There have been seven home runs hit off Rodriguez in his past 8⅔ innings.
El-Rod blows a tire
Rodriguez threw too many pitches over the heart of the plate, and the Blue Jays were ready to create damage with their swings. The rookie right-hander put himself in a hole from the start.
Rodriguez walked Springer on four pitches to open the game.
Bo Bichette followed by hammering a first-pitch fastball into the left-field corner for an RBI double. Two batters later, Alejandro Kirk hit a fastball into the right-center gap for an RBI double. Those extra-base hits put the Blue Jays ahead 2-0 in the first inning.
The mess continued in the second inning, as the Blue Jays — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (407 feet), Springer (383 feet) and Bichette (373 feet) — used three home runs to tack on four runs.
Gurriel smashed Rodriguez’s 0-1 fastball over the left-center wall. Springer unloaded on an 0-2 curveball and put the ball in the same area as the previous home run. Then, Bichette belted a 1-1 slider over the left-field wall.
Just like that, the Blue Jays had a 6-0 lead.
Rodriguez threw 23 pitches in the first inning and 17 pitches in the second. After Bichette’s home run, pitching coach Chris Fetter met with Rodriguez while right-handed reliever Jacob Barnes warmed in the bullpen.
Nearing an early exit, Rodriguez retired the next two batters to complete the second inning. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded out to third base, and Teoscar Hernandez grounded out to second base.
Rodriguez bounced back with scoreless third and fourth innings, and with the Tigers already trailing by six runs, manager A.J. Hinch gave him an opportunity to complete the fifth inning.
The Blue Jays scored two more runs in the fifth for an 8-0 lead. Rodriguez was removed from his outing with one out in the inning.
Barnes got the final two outs.
For his 84 pitches (51 strikes), Rodriguez threw 43 four-seam fastballs (51%), 26 sliders (31%), seven changeups (8%), five two-seam fastballs (6%) and three curveballs (4%). He generated five swings and misses.
More runs vs. bullpen
After Barnes worked out of the fifth, right-hander Wily Peralta took over for the sixth inning.
Doubles from Springer and Guerrero produced one run. An ensuing two-out single from Kirk tacked on another run for a 10-0 Blue Jays advantage. Peralta completed the sixth on 19 pitches.
Righties Joe Jimenez and Jason Foley tossed scoreless seventh and eight innings, each working around two-out singles. Jimenez struck out the first two batters he faced, while Foley punched out the fourth batter he faced.
Righty Will Vest handled the ninth inning.
Contact Evan Petzold at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers jumped by Toronto Blue Jays in 10-1 loss