All of a sudden, the Tigers are no longer sitting atop the American League Central and the Blue Jays are back at .500.
Toronto's 8-3 win over Detroit on Monday moved the Blue Jays to 41-41 -- still last in the AL East -- and pushed the Tigers to 43-38 -- a half-game back of the Indians in the AL Central. It's the first time since May 23 Detroit hasn't been in first place.
That's not to say, of course, that anyone's going to start taking Detroit lightly, as it heads into Tuesday night's game at Rogers Centre, the second of a four-game set in Canada.
"There's some pretty good hitters that you have to get out," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the Tigers. "They have some proven big league hitters that have always been big run producers, so you figure you have to score. You figure it's going to be that kind of series. We have to score some runs I would think."
The key for Toronto on Tuesday will be getting to Detroit right-hander Doug Fister, which has been no easy task for the Blue Jays since he joined the Tigers. Fister has delivered eight innings of one-run ball in each of his two starts against Toronto, the first coming last July at Rogers Centre, the second on April 11 at Comerica Park. Only one of the 15 hits he's allowed over those two outings went for extra bases.
There's no doubt the Tigers, who have lost six of their last seven, could use a similar outing from Fister on Tuesday given their starters' recent bout of early exits.
Fister would seem to be the man for the job, as he's put together quality starts in six of his last seven outings, even if he only has one win to show for it.
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who's coming off a rough outing against the Red Sox, giving up seven runs in only 1 2/3 innings. It won't get any easier on Tuesday, as he'll be tasked with keeping Detroit's star-studded lineup in check.
"They're good -- defending American League champs," Gibbons said. "You look at the depth of their starting rotation, they come at you with some of the best pitchers in the game, and they have a tremendous offense.
"You try to go toe-for-toe with them, you definitely have to match them on the mound. But the key, in a lot of ways, to beating this team is you have to keep [Austin] Jackson and [Torii] Hunter off base before you get to [Miguel] Cabrera, [Prince] Fielder and [Victor] Martinez. Top to bottom, they're loaded with good hitters, so it's not going to be easy, that's for sure."
Tigers: Avila activated off DL
The Tigers activated catcher Alex Avila from the 15-day disabled list following Monday's game, ending his rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo after it took a more positive turn. Avila was 8-for-25 over his last six games for the Mud Hens, easing concerns about his right forearm bruise and his ability to hit when he returns to the Tigers' lineup.
Detroit optioned catcher Bryan Holaday to make room for Avila on the active roster.
• Anibal Sanchez could be making his next start for the Tigers, most likely in Cleveland on Saturday. Sanchez stayed behind in Florida when the Tigers flew north on Sunday and was scheduled to make a rehab start Monday in Lakeland, building up his endurance by throwing about 60 pitches or so with the hope that he'll be ready the next time his spot in the rotation comes up.
Blue Jays: Encarnacion fighting injuries
Edwin Encarnacion was a late scratch from the Jays' lineup on Monday due to a sore left hamstring. He was initially listed at designated hitter, batting third, but was taken out of the lineup about 30 minutes before the game began.
In addition to the sore hamstring, Encarnacion has been dealing with a sore wrist "for a few days," Gibbons said, but he hadn't been sidelined by either injury until Monday.
• Adam Lind was also too banged up to play on Monday, as he's battling soreness in his back. Mark DeRosa, who's playing through a sore neck himself, wound up starting at first base, and he hit a three-run homer. Toronto hasn't needed to make a roster move despite a short bench, but that could change if Encarnacion, Lind or DeRosa need more time off. Lind was hopeful he could avoid the disabled list.
"Right now, hopefully it's just a couple days," he said. "I came out of the game so it would only be a couple days instead of trying to play through it and turn it into a month. That's the reason."
• The Tigers have been outscored, 42-26, over their past seven games.
• With Monday's victory, Toronto has won seven straight and 11 of its last 13 games at home.