DETROIT (AP) Nicholas Castellanos completed admirably as the anchor of the Detroit lineup with Miguel Cabrera on the disabled list.
With the two times Most Valuable Player in the batting order, Castellanos showed no signs of slowing Friday night.
Castellanos homered and had three hits, Cabrera took a hit on his comeback and the Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2.
Castellanos batted .363 in 23 games while Cabrera sat down with a hamstring injury, raising his average to .339 for the season. The breakout season is having a big impact on first-year manager Ron Gardenhire.
"It reminds me a lot of (Victor) Martinez, and I'm sure he's someone he's learned a lot from," Gardenhire said. "He works hard at his job, and he has made some changes, nothing surprises me at this moment."
Cabrera played in his 2253th Major League game, but admitted he was nervous about it.
"I like to feel the butterflies in my stomach," he said. "There's nothing wrong with that, once the game is on, everything changes."
Cabrera was 1 out of 3 with a base in his first game since May 4th. He hit the ball hard in his first appearance on the plate, but the grounder became double. He walked and singled in his next two at-bats, and then flew to his former teammate Curtis Granderson.
"I wanted to delay the game and not try to do too much in my first game," he said. "I wanted to work on the count and do everything possible to be at the base."
JaCoby Jones added two hits and two RBIs for the Tigers, who have won three straight and five of six.
Blaine Hardy (2 -0) allowed two runs, three hits and four walks in six innings for Detroit. He struck out three to improve to 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts since replacing Jordan Zimmermann in the rotation.
Four relievers finished, with Shane Greene throwing the ninth inning for his 14th save.
Toronto start Jamie Garcia allowed four runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.
"Jamie will be successful when he throws the ball on the plate," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "Right now, he's not doing that, and he's hurting himself in bad times."
Garcia has not been able to leave the fourth inning in three of his last five starts.
"This is brutal," he said. .
The Blue Jays lost four in a row.
The Tigers took the lead in a second of four races and ten suits. Víctor Martínez and James McCann opened with singles, and Jones hit a three-run triple dive by center fielder Kevin Pillar. Leonys Martin followed with a groundout of score to put the 3-0.
José Iglesias doubled, stole the third and scored in Jeimer Canderlario's single with two outs for the fourth race of the Detroit inning. Castellanos finished Garcia's night with another base hit, and Danny Barnes walked to Cabrera before retiring Martinez.
Teoscar Hernández put the 4-1 with a triple in the sixth and Kendrys Morales added a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
The Blue Jays had the tie race in scoring position in the seventh, but Hernandez flew to the right. Castellanos hit a one-run homer in the bottom of the inning to give the Tigers a 5-2 lead.
Toronto loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against Johnny Barbato, taking Artie Lewicki out of the Tigers. Lewicki, usually the longest man in the team, retired Devon Travis to finish the inning.
Tiles: 3B Josh Donaldson (calf), who has not played since Monday, was placed on the 10-day list before the game. The Blue Jays reminded LHP Tim Mayza to replace him. "We thought it was close, but it came out today and it ran, and it was still not good," Gibbons said. "So we decided to go back and give him more time to rest."
Tigers: SP Ryan Carpenter (oblique tension) was placed on the 10-day disabled list after being injured on Thursday. RHP Zac Reininger was retired from Triple-A Toledo. … With Carpenter unavailable and a doubleheader against the Yankees on Monday, Gardenhire said Lewicki will make a starting point next week.
GOOSE GOES FREE
The story of the goose of Comerica Park had a happy ending on Friday morning in Lansing. The goose, which was injured when it flew to a marker after being chased by crew members on Wednesday afternoon, was thrown into a wetland area by veterinarians at Michigan State University.
The Tigers, who have outscored their opponents 16-4 since the incident, have placed a stuffed goose on their railing.
The teams play the second in a three-game series on Saturday, with Matthew Boyd of Detroit (3-4, 3.00) versus JA Happ (7-3, 3.84).
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