TORONTO (AP) George Springer hit two home runs, including the 58th leadoff shot of his career, and the Toronto Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Sunday.

Ernie Clement delivered a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning and Toronto outfielder Daulton Varsho made a sensational leaping catch at the wall with two runners on to preserve the one-run lead in the eighth.

“Just a game-changing play,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s made a lot of those in the outfield. We hit it to the wrong guy.”

Springer went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Clement reached base three times as the Blue Jays won for the second time in seven meetings with Detroit this season.

Justyn-Henry Malloy hit his first career grand slam off Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman, a two-out drive in the fifth, but the Tigers couldn’t extend a four-game winning streak.

Springer connected off Keider Montero (1-3) in the first, then drove in Clement with a one-out shot in the third. The home runs were his 12th and 13th of the year.

“When George is right, having that power threat every single time he steps into the box kind of changes the complexion of our lineup,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “He definitely did that today.”

It was Springer’s second multi-homer game this season and the 23rd of his career. After a rough start, Springer is batting .377 with six doubles, eight home runs and 25 RBIs over his past 21 games.

“He’s a catalyst for us,” Gausman said.

Springer is second to Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson (81) on baseball’s all-time list for leadoff home runs. The outfielder has hit 19 since joining the Blue Jays before the 2021 season.

“I’m not trying to do it,” Springer said. “Hitting first, I understand it’s my responsibility to do a lot of things, to let guys see velocity, spin, all that stuff. It’s also my job to get on base. However I’m able to do it, I’ll take it.”

Malloy’s slam, his sixth homer of the season, put Detroit up 4-3, but Spencer Horwitz tied it with an RBI single off Montero in the bottom half.

Clement restored Toronto’s lead with a two-out single off right-hander Will Vest in the sixth.

Gausman (8-8) allowed four runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since beating Detroit on May 23 and the White Sox on May 28.

Génesis Cabrera got two outs but exited after putting runners at first and second in the eighth. Chad Green came on to face Carson Kelly, who hit a drive to deep left, where Varsho had just moved after four-time Gold Glove winner Kevin Kiermaier came on to play center. Varsho leaped above the scoreboard to make the catch.

“That’s the highest I’ve ever seen him jump,” Gausman said. “He’s unbelievable.”

Green got five outs for his seventh save in seven chances.

Montero allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Tigers hit grand slams in consecutive games for the first time since doing it against Philadelphia and Washington in July 2013. Detroit catcher Jake Rogers hit a grand slam in Saturday’s 7-3 win.


Detroit put RHP Reese Olson on the 15-day injured list because of a strained shoulder. Olson left Saturday’s start after two innings.


The Tigers selected the contract of utilityman Bligh Madris from Triple-A Toledo and recalled LHP Easton Lucas from Triple-A. To make room for Madris on the 40-man roster, OF Kerry Carpenter (back) was transferred to the 60-day IL.


Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (10-3, 2.41 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday at Cleveland against RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-7, 5.02).

Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos (8-7, 4.01 ERA) starts Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay. The Rays had not announced a scheduled starter.



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