Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) takes a deep breath against the Detroit Tigers during second inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Thursday, March 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) takes a deep breath against the Detroit Tigers during second inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Thursday, March 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Tigers blank Blue Jays 2-0 on Opening Day

Toronto ‘O’ a no-show for Stro in loss to Detroit

TORONTO — Christin Stewart hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and the Detroit Tigers opened their season with a 2-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, following a tight pitching duel between Marcus Stroman and Jordan Zimmerman.

Stewart launched an 0-2 slider off Daniel Hudson over the right-field wall. Jeimer Candelario had started the rally for Detroit (1-0) with a leadoff double.

Shane Greene pitched the bottom of the 10th for the save and Victor Alcantara earned the win after a sparkling start from Jordan Zimmerman.

The Tigers right-hander, who allowed just one hit over seven innings, had a perfect game broken up with a two-out single from Teoscar Hernandez in the seventh.

Hernandez, one of only two Jays (0-1) with a hit all game, laced a sharp liner up the middle on Zimmerman’s 65th pitch. Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison dove and got his glove on it before firing a desperation throw to first, but Hernandez beat the ball to the bag.

Zimmerman also struck out four and threw 70 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Stroman, who had a rough 2018 with a 4-9 record and 5.54 earned-run average, had preached from the beginning of spring training that he was poised for a big comeback.

He came out with an emphatic first start to 2019, walking four batters but not allowing a hit until the sixth inning — a two-out single from Nicholas Castellanos.

The 27-year-old gave up just two hits total over seven innings while striking out seven, including all three batters he faced in the fifth inning. He let out an emphatic roar after striking out Grayson Greiner for a third time to end his outing in the seventh.

Rookie manager Charlie Montoyo, making his managerial debut at the MLB level, said before the game that he was confident in his team’s chances with Stroman on the mound.

“Man, he was really good (in spring training). That’s one of the things I feel good about this game today is knowing that Stroman is on the mound, I feel good about it. I have a lot of confidence in him. He looks like the guy I saw two years ago.”

RELATED: Former Blue Jays ace Halladay elected to Hall of Fame

Montoyo relished his pre-game introduction.

Grinning ear-to-ear, the visibly enthusiastic 53-year-old sprinted onto the field and through a handshake line of players when he was announced before the game.

Rowdy Tellez, who was called up from the minors to serve as Toronto’s DH after veteran Kendrys Morales was traded to Oakland the night before, was 0-for-2 with a walk. Tellez received a loud ovation from the 45,048 in attendance when he was announced into the game.

Joe Biagini and closer Ken Giles combined on six consecutive strikeouts over the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, for Toronto.

Kevin Pillar, who’s become known for his defensive gems over the years, made a nice catch in centre field in the third, crashing into the wall as he caught a line drive off Jordy Mercer.

While the Blue Jays aren’t expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, Montoyo is hesitant to use the term “rebuild” in describing Toronto’s situation.

“Nobody in (the clubhouse) is thinking about rebuilding. Everybody’s ready to win games,” Montoyo said. “I heard that word last year with the Rays … and they won 90 games. And they know that. I brought that up in my first meeting with the players and we’re going to compete every day and we’re going to play to win.”

NOTES: Thursday’s games was the earliest home opener in Toronto’s franchise history, one day ahead of last year’s March 29 opener against the Yankees. … Former Blue Jays and Tigers pitcher Jack Morris threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press

Blue JaysMLB

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The school is very proud of these students (pictured, left to right): Halim Demir (holding Grace Valdez’ gold certificate); Lauren McIlwain, Shayleen Mack, Jaymen Schieck, Kyle Doiron, and Finn Carlson (photo submitted)
SAMS students excel in international competition

The SAMS team swept their category this year; all six participants received awards

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The avalanche came down on the highway sometime Sunday evening (Feb. 21) (Dawson photo)
Road to Bella Coola wharf reopens after large avalanche

The road was closed after a large avalanche covered a significant portion of the highway

Jenni Mueller lives near the wharf on the other side of the avalanche. She took this photo and thinks the avalanche happened around 8 p.m. last night (February 21). (Jenni Mueller photo)
Avalanche closes road to wharf at Bella Coola

A day and night of heavy rain resulted in avalanches across the region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read