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Smoak's 2nd career walk-off HR lifts Blue Jays

Special to MLB.com

TORONTO -- Starter Sam Gaviglio stumbled in the middle, but bounced back quickly to set up a Blue Jays comeback and walk-off home run by Justin Smoak in the ninth.

Smoak's second career walk-off home run came on the second pitch he saw off reliever Joe Jimenez. He launched the sky-high blast 409 feet to right field to give Toronto the 4-3 win over the Tigers on Saturday at Rogers Centre.

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TORONTO -- Starter Sam Gaviglio stumbled in the middle, but bounced back quickly to set up a Blue Jays comeback and walk-off home run by Justin Smoak in the ninth.

Smoak's second career walk-off home run came on the second pitch he saw off reliever Joe Jimenez. He launched the sky-high blast 409 feet to right field to give Toronto the 4-3 win over the Tigers on Saturday at Rogers Centre.

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Video: DET@TOR: Smoak discusses approach on walk-off homer

"It's a great feeling," Smoak said. "Honestly, nobody wants to play extra innings. In the ninth, to get it over with, that's always a good feeling."

Gaviglio spread just four hits over seven innings and walked three while striking out five. All of the damage done against Gaviglio came on two home runs early in his start.

Video: DET@TOR: Gaviglio K's Hicks in 6th to keep game tied

"As long as I make my pitches, I'm fine," Gaviglio said. "I kind of struggled with my offspeed. My fastball location was good today, but [catcher Luke] Maile did a good job getting me through the game."

John Hicks got Gaviglio in the top of the second with a solo home run to left field that just cleared the wall at 367 feet. Gaviglio went with a slider on that pitch, but it hung up in the zone and didn't break far enough to get off the plate, which allowed Hicks to turn on the ball.

Nicholas Castellanos homered off a slow sinker from Gaviglio in the next inning, and his was gone from the moment it left the bat. The two-run shot, which travelled 374 feet, left Castellanos' bat at 107.2 mph, according to Statcast™, and got over the left-field wall in a hurry.

"A couple of the hits were homers to give them the lead, but I thought he was in control all night long," said manager John Gibbons.

Video: DET@TOR: Castellanos lines 2-run homer to LF in 3rd

After that, Gaviglio settled down. The right-hander held the Tigers scoreless for his final four innings and worked around a two on, one-out jam in the sixth inning that he ended with a ground ball and swinging strikeout.

Gaviglio had plenty of help from his catcher, too. Maile threw out two runners attempting to steal second, and the biggest came in the top of the seventh. Grayson Greiner walked to lead off the inning and broke on what might have been a hit-and-run, but Jose Iglesias swung through a pitch down and away and Maile made a perfect throw to second.

Video: DET@TOR: Maile unleashes strong throw to nab Greiner

"Luke's one of the better throwers in the game," Gibbons said. "If you give him a chance, he's going to get you. It can make a huge difference, especially in a tight ballgame."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Randal Grichuk is the hottest hitter the Blue Jays have, and he isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Grichuk tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run shot to left field, his 10th home run of the season and eighth in the month of June.

"He's feeling really good now," Gibbons said. "It just goes to show how much confidence plays a part in this game."

Video: DET@TOR: Grichuk belts a 2-run homer to left field

Devon Travis had a chance to score the go-ahead run from second in the bottom of the eighth on a Yangervis Solarte single, but he was thrown out in a play at the plate. It looked like an aggressive send as Travis rounded third, and center fielder Leonys Martin threw a strike home to beat Travis by a couple of steps.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Shortstop Aledmys Diaz made a slick defensive play in the top of the fifth, ranging to his left into the hole to rob JaCoby Jones of a single. Diaz made a sliding stop, then quickly popped to his feet and bounced his throw across the diamond just in time. Smoak stretched out at first to make the play.

Video: DET@TOR: Diaz makes stellar stop, throw to nab Jones

UP NEXT
J.A. Happ takes the mound for the Blue Jays on Canada Day this Sunday for the third game of the four-game set against the Tigers at 1:07 p.m. ET. All eyes are on Happ as one of the top available pitchers ahead of the MLB July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The last time Happ faced the Tigers, on June 2, he allowed four runs over five innings of work with eight strikeouts as his pitch count quickly ran up to 106. The Tigers will counter with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann.

Keegan Matheson is a contributor to MLB.com.

Toronto Blue Jays, Justin Smoak