DUANE BURLESON / AP Enlarge
DETROIT — The struggling Tigers needed a little help. Marco Scutaro provided it Monday night.
Scutaro's second error in two innings allowed Brandon Inge to score from second base in the bottom of the 10th inning, and Detroit rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5.
“I'm sure the ball was a little wet,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “We might've caught a break. We did catch a break.”
It started raining in the ninth inning, Pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff belted a tying three-run homer through the raindrops in the ninth and Ryan Raburn also went deep for the American League Central-leading Tigers, who have won two of their last seven.
“I've hit a lot of home runs in my career, and that one felt like that was my first big league home run,” said Huff, who was acquired from Baltimore in a waiver deal. “Every win means so much. I've never been on a team where every game means so much. It's just a great time.”
Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion homered for Toronto.
Brian Wolfe (1-2) walked Inge and Curtis Granderson with one out in the 10th. Alex Avila then hit a grounder to first baseman Lyle Overbay. Scutaro, the shortstop, couldn't handle his throw to second and Inge was able to slide home with the winning run.
“Nothing to say. Just went off my mitt. That's it,” Scutaro said.
Bobby Seay (6-3) retired one batter to get the win.
Scutaro's first gaffe started the tying rally in the ninth.
Granderson reached on Scutaro's error and pinch-hitter Avila followed with a single. Huff, batting for shortstop Ramon Santiago, then drove Jason Frasor's 2-0 pitch into the right-field stands for his 15th home run.
“It was a fastball count. I've had success getting him out with heaters,” Frasor said. “I didn't think I got it in enough. He was looking heater and he got it.”
Toronto wiped out Detroit's 2-0 lead with five in the sixth. Aaron Hill singled in a run to make it 2-1. Lind, the next batter, homered over the left-center field fence, a three-run blast. The opposite field drive was Lind's 29th home run and gave him 100 RBIs.
Encarnacion capped the inning with his homer one out later.
Raburn gave Detroit a 1-0 lead when he led off the first inning with his 12th homer. He drilled Purcey's 2-1 pitch off the left-field pole.
Raburn's RBI single gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
Tigers' starter Justin Verlander gave up five runs on 10 hits in seven innings. The AL strikeout leader fanned nine to give him 239.
Toronto starter David Purcey allowed two runs on five hits in 52/3 innings, walking four and striking out four.
NOTES: Detroit RHP reliever Fernando Rodney had his three-game suspension reduced to two games. Rodney was suspended for throwing a ball into the stands in frustration after he was ineffective, but got the save, after the final out of a 4-3 win at Tampa Bay on Sept. 4. He served the first game last night and will serve the second during tonight's contest against the Kansas City Royals. ... Tigers' manager Jim Leyland said Magglio Ordonez will reach the plate appearance incentive in his contract that will give Ordonez an $18 million option for next season. Ordonez is three plate appearances shy of the 1,080 over two years that would activate the option. ... An unidentified crowd manager was struck in the eye by a ball hit during batting practice before the game. He was standing near the Detroit bullpen between the left-field fence and stands near the left-field foul post when he was struck. He was then taken to a hospital via ambulance. Vision in both eyes were tested and determined to be normal. ... A foul ball into the broadcast booth off Scutaro's bat broke the headset of Tigers' television play-by-play announcer Mario Impemba in the seventh inning.