DETROIT — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a homered, Ross Stripling threw a one-hit ball for six innings and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 6-0 on Sunday.
The Blue Jays have taken Detroit two out of three and given them 13 wins in 17 games. Toronto has the third-best record in the American League, behind east-leading New York Yankees in its division and west-leading Houston.
Only two teams in the league, meanwhile, have won fewer games than Detroit this season.
“It’s a long season,” said Tigers star Miguel Cabrera. “We will continue to think positively”
Stripling (3-1) allowed just one hit for the second straight start and hit four without a walk, making the most of his opportunity to stay in the rotation.
“He was great,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “He gave us a chance every time he conquered the hill. He throws shots with all his pitches and he keeps batsmen off balance. When someone isn’t overwhelming and they have to pitch, that’s fun to watch.
“I will continue to start it.”
Yimi Garcia, Trent Thornton, and Jordan Romano followed up Stripling with three innings of one-hit relief.
Tarik Skubal (5-3) lost for the first time since April 28 and lasted just four innings, the shortest game since his first start of the season. Skubal hit three of three scoreless innings before giving up Guerrero’s 421-foot line drive over the left-center fence, a two-run drive and his 14th homer of the season.
“I didn’t do my job to put us in a position to win a ball game and a series against a good club,” said Skubal.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Cavan Biggio added RBI doubles in heat four.
“It was tremendous for us to get to Skubal early,” said Montoyo.
Gurriel, who has a seven-game hitting streak, hit a two-run single in game eight against Jacob Barnes to give Toronto a 6-0 cushion that was quite comfortable against the easy-batting Tigers.
“We have to do a better job offensively and win more games,” said Cabrera.
The Tigers had a pregame ceremony celebrating Cabrera for joining Hank Aaron and Albert Pujols as the three players in baseball history with 500 homers, 3,000 hits and 600 doubles.
Cabrera was surrounded by his family on the field, where he was surprised by the appearance of his former teammate Victor Martinez.
“His showing up means a lot to me,” he said.
Toronto has lost just one straight game in the last month, losing back-to-back games to Cincinnati and St. Louis on May 21 and 22.
Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez hasn’t scheduled his next start and his next outing could be for Detroit or Triple-A Toledo. Rodriguez is off the team due to an injury, according to manager AJ Hinch.
Rodriguez is 1/3 with 4.38 in eight starts in the first year of his five-year, $77 contract with the Tigers.
Blue Jays: 3B Matt Chapman got a second straight day off to rest his sore left wrist. He conducted defensive drills with his wrist taped on Sunday morning.
Montoyo said Chapman was down the day and not injured enough to get an MRI.
“It’s not that bad to get a picture,” he said.
Tigers: RHP Jose Cisnero, who was off the field this season with a strained shoulder, injured his Achilles tendon while running at the team’s spring training complex in Lakeland, Fla. He was due to start a rehab stint at Triple-A Toledo this week.
Blue Jays: Host Baltimore Monday night and kick off a seven-game home game against teams in the division that includes a chance to gain ground against the AL East-leading Yankees.
Tigers: Play the Chicago White Sox at home Monday night to start a three-game streak amid a 10-game homestand ending against Texas.