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Blue Jays look for sweep of Tigers

Sun Jul 21 1:16am ET

The Detroit Tigers' pitching staff has been decimated by injuries this season. Another injury struck this week, so they're bringing up a fresh arm from Triple-A Toledo to pitch the finale of a three-game series on Sunday.

Left-hander Tyler Alexander (0-0, 3.60 ERA) is expected to get the nod against the Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit's Comerica Park.

Alexander has won his last two minor-league starts. He's 4-9 with a 5.72 ERA in 17 minor league appearances this season. He was called up once this season, making a start earlier this month against the Chicago White Sox. He gave up two runs on five hits and struck out four in five innings.

The Tigers have only three regular starters at the moment. Ace Matthew Boyd is a prime candidate to be traded. Daniel Norris started Saturday's game, but the outing was cut short by a rain delay. Jordan Zimmermann, who hasn't won a decision since last September, is the only other veteran arm at manager Ron Gardenhire's disposal.

Rookie Spencer Turnbull was placed on the 10-day IL for the second time this season over the weekend. Turnbull has an upper back strain.

"He played catch and it didn't feel too good," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Then (Saturday), he said there's no chance. He was pretty sore. Just one of those things."

A trio of other starting pitchers went down with injuries either in spring training or during the first month of the season.

If Boyd gets traded, Gardenhire will have even more issues to deal with concerning his rotation.

"Don't put that in my head," he told the Detroit News. "There's nothing I can do about it. I just know one thing. I can't control it. I can't walk up to (GM) Al (Avila's) office and say, 'Please don't do that.' It doesn't do you any good. If it's good for the organization, that's what he's going to do."

The Blue Jays have gotten plenty of good swings against Tigers pitching during the first two games of the series. Star rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blasted a tying grand slam in Saturday's 7-5 victory and had three hits and scored three runs when the Blue Jays pounded out a 12-1 win on Friday.

Brandon Drury had a go-ahead two-run homer on Saturday as the Blue Jays erased a four-run deficit after a rain delay. Leadoff hitter Eric Sogard has collected five hits, scored three runs and knocked in two more since the Blue Jays arrived in Detroit.

Jacob Waguespack (1-0, 5.93 ERA), a 25-year-old right-hander, will make his second start this season on Sunday. He has also made two long relief appearances.

In a start at Boston on Tuesday, Waguespack gave up four runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. The Blue Jays had a three-run lead before the Red Sox tied it in the fifth.

He was elevated to the major league level this week after veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson was designated for assignment.

"He was throwing strikes, he did a good job," manager Charlie Montoyo said afterward. "He kept us in the game. I'm pleased with his start."

--Field Level Media

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