Hernandez homers twice to back Happ in win

Hernandez homers twice to back Happ in win

TORONTO -- Teoscar Hernandez gave the Blue Jays a taste of the future on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, hitting two home runs and driving in five to lead an 8-2 win over the Tigers.

Toronto broke out for 16 hits to win its first home series since Aug. 14-17 against the Rays. Justin Smoak was the only member of the lineup held hitless while five Blue Jays recorded multi-hit games, including Darwin Barney, who went a perfect 4-for-4.

J.A. Happ was excellent outside of a two-run home run by Ian Kinsler, and struck out nine Tigers over six innings of work. He finished strong, too, striking out JaCoby Jones with a 95.3-mph fastball -- his fastest of the day -- on his 113th and final pitch.

"I felt like it got better as the game went on," Happ said of his fastball. "I felt like I was getting some swings that I like to see, that we like to see, on it. That was a pitch we tried to utilize today, up in the zone and down and away. Mixing it up location-wise. That was big. I felt good with that today."

Happ K's nine in solid start

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez looked to settle down after loading the bases in the first, but was hit hard in the fourth and fifth. The right-hander left after 4 2/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits, pushing his ERA to 7.43.

"I don't know if there's one pitch he needs to get back," manager Brad Ausmus said. "One thing he used to be able to do when he had a couple more miles an hour is pitch up. Now that line is a lot finer. If you don't get up high enough, it's potentially a home run."

Hernandez double dips: Hernandez followed up his first home run with the Blue Jays in the fourth by sending another over the wall in the very next inning for his first career multi-home run game. With Sanchez still on the mound and on the ropes, Hernandez drove a 92-mph sinker to the opposite field for a three-run homer that gave the Blue Jays a comfortable 7-2 lead.

Hernandez belts his second homer

"It was great, we had a bunch of great hits today," Happ said. "That was awesome and Luis Santos coming in and throwing the last three [innings] as well as he did. That's a good recipe right there for a win."

Kinsler cashes in defensive lapse: Shortstop Richard Urena whiffed on a routine ground ball from Dixon Machado to lead off the top of the fifth, and Detroit quickly capitalized. Kinsler took Happ deep to left field for his 17th home run of the season, a 381-foot shot that brought the Tigers back within one. It was Kinsler's third home run in his past four games.

"Well, today he did." -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, when asked if Hernandez has been exceeding expectations since joining Toronto on Sept. 1

"I asked [Josh Donaldson] if he would have made that play in the ninth, and he said, 'If you're asking, you already know the answer.'" -- Barney, on not making a bare-handed play at third base in the ninth

Hernandez is the first Blue Jays rookie to hit multiple home runs in a game since catcher J.P. Arencibia, who did it on July 11, 2011. Hernandez is also just the 13th rookie to drive in five runs, with the last being outfielder Anthony Gose on Sept. 8, 2012.

The Tigers announced after Sunday's game that outfielder Tyler Collins would be joining the team for its series in Cleveland. Collins spent the first two months of the season, but has been with Triple-A Toledo since early June. The status of Mikie Mahtook, who was a late scratch on Saturday with left groin soreness, is still being evaluated day to day. Since Collins is not on the 40-man roster, a corresponding move will be announced Monday.

Tigers: Right-hander Myles Jaye makes his first MLB start against the hottest team in baseball, the Indians, on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET in Cleveland. Jaye has made two relief appearances since being promoted, and went 4-13 with a 3.96 ERA over 131 2/3 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A earlier this season.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada (7-8, 5.00) will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a three-game series vs. the Orioles on Monday at Rogers Centre, with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET. Estrada faced the Orioles at the end of August and allowed six runs on 10 hits over five innings of work.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Tigers on Sunday.

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.