TORONTO (AP) - Jim Leyland praised him for Phil Coke for his perseverance. The struggling left-hander didn't much feel like talking about it.
Coke gave up a career-high 11 hits and extended his winless streak to four starts as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4 on Friday night.
Leyland said Coke's line wasn't a fair indication of how the left-hander had pitched.
``I thought he really hung in there and did OK,' Leyland said. ``He gave up some hits that were just hit in the right place, the exact right place.'
But a downcast Coke cut short his postgame interview session, pleading to be left alone.
``Sorry guys, I'm really not much for conversation this evening,' he said.
Coke pitched six innings, giving up four runs. He walked none and struck out five.
Adam Lind homered and drove in two runs while Jesse Litsch struck out a career-high nine for the Blue Jays, who pounded out a season-high 15 hits.
Lind had an RBI single off Coke (1-5) during a three-run first and added a solo drive to center in the eighth, his seventh of the season. Toronto's first baseman extended his hitting streak to 11 games and is batting .477 (21 for 44) over that span.
``He's hitting home runs, he's doing it all right now,' Litsch said.
Lind, who came in tied with three other players for the AL RBI lead, went 2 for 5 as the Blue Jays collected a season-high 15 hits. Lind has 27 RBIs, including 15 in his past 10 games.
``He's obviously a very powerful guy but he's got tremendous balance with just a great swing,' Leyland said. ``He's been swinging exceptionally well.'
Litsch (3-2) won for the second time in three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on April 25. The right-hander allowed one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings and walked three.
``He did a really good job of mixing speeds and location,' Detroit's Scott Sizemore said. ``He had everything going tonight.'
The nine strikeouts were one more than Litsch had against the New York Yankees on Sept. 23, 2008.
``A lot of them were cutters,' Litsch said. ``They were just going straight down. That's where I want to be.'
Brandon Inge hit a two-run double off Shawn Camp in the ninth and Sizemore added an RBI single as Detroit cut the deficit in half. Frank Francisco came on and ended it by getting Brennan Boesch to line out, picking up his second save.
``Too little, too late,' Leyland said.'
Detroit had runners at first and second with two outs in the top of the first, but Litsch got out of it when Boesch was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on Victor Martinez's single to left.
``That was obviously a big play,' Leyland said. ``We thought we had one on the board. We didn't get anything to show for it and they end up getting three on the board.'
Toronto jumped on Coke in the bottom half, with five of the first six batters collecting singles. Lind opened the scoring with a base hit to left before Juan Rivera and J.P. Arencibia followed with run-scoring singles up the middle.
The Blue Jays got one more in the third. Rivera led off with a single and scored when Arencibia doubled up the alley in right-center.
After his shaky first, Litsch set down seven of the next eight batters but gave up a run in the fourth. Martinez drew a one-out walk, moved to third on a double by Magglio Ordonez and scored on Jhonny Peralta's RBI grounder.
``We didn't do a whole lot with him,' Leyland said.
Lind's homer off Brayan Villarreal put Toronto up 5-1, and a two-out bloop single by Corey Patterson in the eighth scored two more. Brad Thomas surrendered the hit but both runs were charged to Villarreal.
The Tigers had homered in nine consecutive games in Toronto dating to Apr. 21, 2008, but failed to clear the fence in this one.
NOTES: Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill (right hamstring) and OF Jose Bautista (stiff neck) remain on track to return Sunday, manager John Farrell said. ... Blue Jays LHP Ricky Romero, whose scheduled start Thursday at Tampa Bay was pushed back because of soreness in his side, is expected pitch against the Tigers on Saturday. ... Lind had a career-high 14 game hitting streak in 2010.
The Associated Press News Service
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