- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - Jordan Zimmermann’s ERA has tripled in a month.

The Detroit Tigers pitcher gave up seven runs for the second time in four outings, a 7-2 loss Wednesday to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“Every pitcher is going to have a clunker once in a while, and to be quite honest, I was pretty bad today,” Zimmermann said. “This is a team that takes some big swings, and if you leave stuff over the middle you’re gonna get hurt.”

Zimmermann (8-3) gave up seven runs and eight hits. His ERA has risen to 3.30 from 1.10 on May 6.

“I think he was a little off today. His slider didn’t have the depth it normally has,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s been very good for us. It’s just a little bit of an off day. He’ll be fine.”

Josh Donaldson had three hits, including a three-run homer and a triple. Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer and Kevin Pillar added a two-run triple as Toronto stopped Detroit’s five-game winning streak.

R.A. Dickey (4-6) allowed two runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

“That was a gift,” he said. “I’m not sure I can remember the last time I had that little on the knuckleball, but the guys gave me enough support that I was able to work things out.”

Combined with Friday’s victory at Boston, he won back-to-back outings for the first time since Aug. 28 against Detroit and Sept. 2 versus Cleveland.

“Two runs in 5 1/3 innings isn’t great, but it is better than that could have easily gone,” he said. “I really had to dig deep into my reservoir of experience today. I was throwing a bunch of curveballs, and I was changing speeds on the knuckleball more than I’ve ever done - just trying to get through the game.”

Nick Castellanos hit his 11th homer for the Tigers.

Smoak and Castellanos had two-run homers in the first, and Donaldson’s three-run homer put Toronto ahead for good in the third. Detroit put runners at the corners with one out when Ezequiel Carrera grounded into a 3-6-2 double play started by Jose Iglesias.

Zimmermann couldn’t get out of the fifth, when Donaldson and Pillar tripled.

Detroit got a runner to third with one out in the seventh, but Jesse Chavez came in to strike out James McCann and Andrew Romine. Detroit also strained two runners in the eighth.


Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki (quadriceps) is scheduled to report to extended spring training this weekend. Toronto manager John Gibbons expects him to be activated when eligible Monday.

Tigers: CF Cameron Maybin was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day with soreness in his left wrist. Maybin broke the wrist in spring training and has been bothered by occasional pain. Ausmus said after the game that Maybin, who pinch ran on Tuesday, got a cortisone shot on Monday night and is expected to play Friday in New York.


Tigers DH Victor Martinez got the day off after going 0 for 3 with three strikeouts for the first time in his big league career. The move also allowed Ausmus to shift Miguel Cabrera to DH. Andrew Romine played first base and Justin Upton got a rare home start in centerfield.


Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (5-2, 4.82 starts Thursday’s opener of a four-game series against visiting Baltimore and RHP Tyler Wilson (2-5, 4.39).

Tigers: RHP Mike Pelfrey (1-5, 4.76) is to start Friday’s series opener at the New York Yankees, who go with LHP CC Sabathia (3-4, 2.58).

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