The strike from left arrived well before Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez did. Even though Detroit went on to score one run in the inning, it could have been a lot worse without Carrera's timely throw.
"That was a huge play," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You know what, when [Jose] Bautista went down, we didn't know what to expect. Now, here's Z's opportunity -- and he has done a tremendous job. We've been on a nice little run, and he has been a key part of that.
"Whether it's getting on base, getting the big hits, bunting, whatever he does -- and defensively, he has been great, too. That's the key for guys to hang around a long time in this league, getting the opportunity. He hadn't really gotten that, now he's gotten it and he's running with it."
According to Statcast™, Carrera's throw was 88.3 mph. That was his second-hardest throw of the year, after he previously hit 90.5 mph earlier in the season. The slow-footed Martinez helped the cause by reaching only 17.2 mph on his run home.
Carrera's throw left the Tigers with runners on first and second with two outs. Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez then walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia and hit Andrew Romine to force in a run, before eventually getting out of the jam.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.