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Colt Keith hits first MLB HR, Maeda throws 5 scoreless innings and Tigers beat Blue Jays 6-2

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DETROIT (AP) — Colt Keith hit his first major league home run and Kenta Maeda threw five scoreless innings in his return to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 on Friday night and snap a season-high, five-game losing streak.

A season-ticket holder retrieved the ball and gave it to Keith on the field, where he signed a bat for the fan. By the time Keith was at his locker after the game, the keepsake was in a glass case.

“I feel like I’ve been dreaming of that for a while,” the 22-year-old second baseman said. “It was kind of a blur when it happened.”

Keith turned on a full-count, two-out pitch from Alek Manoah (1-2) in the second inning and sent it 400 feet to right, taking full advantage of a hanging changeup.

“It was a good swing,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “He’s a good, young player.”

Keith has been flashing some of the promise the Tigers were banking on when they gave him a contract with $28 million guaranteed in January even though he had only minor league experience. Over his last eight games, he has 14 hits.

“Every day, I’m getting a little looser and I’m seeing the ball a little better,” he said.

Maeda (2-1) gave up four hits without a walk, coming back strong from an illness that had him on the injured list since May 7.

Beau Brieske had 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief and Will Vest retired one batter in the eighth.

The Blue Jays avoided a shutout with two outs in the ninth, scoring on singles from Davis Schneider and Alejandro Kirk off Andrew Chafin.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch pulled Chafin and put Jason Foley on the mound for the final out and his 11th save. He retired Danny Jansen on a chopper to third to strand two runners.

Manoah gave up six runs — four earned — on five hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings, coming off consecutive, seven-inning outings in which he didn’t allow an earned run.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound right-hander was relegated to a slow walk toward the dugout when Kerry Carpenter chased him with a two-run homer in the fifth.

“It’s going to sound a little funny, I thought he threw the ball well,” Schneider said.

Manoah didn’t get much help defensively in the fourth when center fielder Kevin Kiermaier was charged with an error when he nearly collided with left fielder Daulton Varsho, allowing the first of three runs in the inning.

“It’s very rare for those guys to miscommunicate,” Schneider said. “It’s the best outfield in Major League Baseball.”

HE DOES IT ALL

Before the game, Pro Football Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson hit a home run to left in batting practice.

“It was awesome,” Tigers catcher Jake Rogers said.

UP NEXT

In the third game of the four-game series, Blue Jays RHP José Berríos (5-3, 2.98) and RHP Reese Olson (0-5, 2.16) are scheduled to start Saturday afternoon.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer

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