Home Miami jersey Chapman 2 HRs, Kikuchi wins in return as Jays top Tigers 5-3

Chapman 2 HRs, Kikuchi wins in return as Jays top Tigers 5-3

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Alejandro Kirk of the Toronto Blue Jays breaks his bat as he hits an RBI single against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Toronto.  (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

Alejandro Kirk of the Toronto Blue Jays breaks his bat as he hits an RBI single against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Toronto. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

PA

Matt Chapman hit two home runs, Yusei Kikuchi came off the injured list to pitch five solid innings and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 Thursday night for their 10th win in 12 games.

Chapman hit a two-run homer off left-hander Tyler Alexander in the fourth and a solo shot off Angel De Jesus in the sixth, the ninth multi-home run game of his career and first this season. The circuits were his 17th and 18th of the year.

Fourteen of Chapman’s 18 home runs have come home. He is batting .306 with seven homers in July.

“I feel comfortable,” Chapman said. “I can see the ball well here.”

Jonathan Schoop and Willi Castro each hit a solo home run for the Tigers, who have lost five of eight since the All-Star break.

Kikuchi (4-5) last pitched July 5 at Oakland, when he walked five batters in 2 1/3 innings. The southpaw went on the injured list the next day with a sprained neck.

“I think today went really well,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter. “The most important thing was to be in and around the strike zone early and often.”

Robbie Grossman hit a first double in the first and Castro homered two out in the second, but those were Kikuchi’s only hits.

“When we had an opportunity, especially on the first double after first double, he was able to crush it,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said.

Kikuchi walked one and struck out five to win for the first time since beating Tampa Bay on June 30.

“Coming back from injury, he looked really strong tonight,” Detroit wide receiver Eric Haase said. “A little more dizziness on his radiator, driving his breaking ball under the area, keeping us guessing. He looked really lively. There weren’t many pitches to hit.

Detroit used a double, an error and a walk to charge the bases against Yimi Garcia with no one in the eighth, but Garcia got Miguel Cabrera out before Eric Haase hit a sacrificial fly. Toronto’s closest, Jordan Romano, came on and retired Candelario on a first pitch.

After Danny Jansen gave Toronto some confidence with a sacrificial volley from Alex Lange late in the eighth, Romano wrapped it up with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 22nd AL-leading save in 25 chances .

Participating for the fifth time this season, Alexander (2-4) allowed three runs, including two earned, in four innings.

“It’s not an easy lineup to navigate,” Hinch said. “I think he did a good job of challenging them enough, but not just throwing balls into the middle of the middle.”

Castro’s third homer opened the scoring in the second, but Alejandro Kirk tied it with a two-out RBI single in the third.

Chapman’s two home runs gave Toronto a 4-1 lead. Schoop cut it to 4-2 when he joined Tim Mayza in the seventh for his seventh home run.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Matt Manning (shoulder) is expected to join the rotation after pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday for Triple-A Toledo. Manning allowed five hits, struck out six and walked two. He hasn’t pitched for Detroit since April 16.

LIST MOVEMENTS

Tigers: Detroit shortlisted unvaccinated LHP Andrew Chafin and selected Triple-A Toledo RHP Bryan Garcia. Chafin will lose $142,857 on his $6.5 million salary.

Blue Jays: To make room for Kikuchi, Toronto picked RHP Jeremy Beasley for Triple-A Buffalo.

HOME RENOVATIONS

Earlier Thursday, the Blue Jays announced plans for a $230 million renovation of the Rogers Center, their downtown home since 1989. The change will not involve replacing the artificial turf surface with grass, but will include new bars, restaurants and patios in the outfield, raised bullpens, reduced foul territory and an expanded clubhouse and practice facility for players.

CATCH OF THE DAY

Blue Jays outfielder George Springer landed a dive to retire Jeimer Candelario in the fourth, racing and letting his feet catch a sinking liner.

FLIP

Federico Bernadeschi, the new star of Toronto FC, attended the game wearing a Blue Jays jersey with his name and the number 10 on the back. Bernadeschi left Italy’s Juventus to sign with Toronto on July 15.

NEXT

Bryan Garcia will make his first career start on Friday against Blue Jays RHP Alek Manoah (11-4, 2.24 ERA). Garcia is 5-3 with a 6.12 ERA in 72 relief appearances over three seasons.

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