DETROIT -- The Toronto Blue Jays' fearsome attack didn't show up until the last inning, but one rally was more than enough in a battle of division leaders.
Breaking a scoreless deadlock with five ninth-inning runs, capped by Brett Lawrie's three-run homer, the Blue Jays topped the Detroit Tigers 5-3 Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Toronto's rally began with ninth-place hitter Anthony Gose drawing a leadoff walk. Jose Bautista's RBI single brought in the first run, and pinch hitter Kevin Pillar added a sacrifice fly before Lawrie's ninth home run.
The surprising Blue Jays, who lead the American League East, won for the 12th time in 14 games. Toronto (35-24) leads the majors with 83 home runs.
"It's the whole team contributing, that's the biggest thing," Lawrie said. "One through nine, it doesn't matter. It's not just the top of the lineup that's doing it. You never know what's going to happen every game. It's just nice to have everybody contributing."
Dustin McGowan (3-2) picked up the win by retiring the side in order during the eighth. Casey Janssen got the last out for his ninth save.
The starting pitchers dueled for seven shutout innings.
Toronto's Drew Hutchison gave up only three singles, two to designated hitter Victor Martinez. He struck out seven without a walk, and he retired the last 11 batters he faced.
Detroit's Anibal Sanchez allowed only two hits -- doubles to third baseman Juan Francisco and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion -- while striking out five in seven innings. Sanchez retired the last 10 batters he faced.
"The pitching on both sides was tremendous," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Sanchez and Hutch were going at it. I thought Hutch really kicked it in during the third inning. He had a little more snap on the ball. The kid's good, but that's what you've got to do against better pitchers. You've got to match them because they're not going to give up a lot of runs."
Left fielder J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer off Steve Delabar with two out in the ninth for Detroit, which lost for the 11th time in 15 games.
Tigers closer Joe Nathan (2-2) allowed two hits and two walks and was charged with four runs while getting just one out in the ninth inning. His ERA ballooned to 6.86.
"I'm definitely at a loss for words," said Nathan, who also has four blown saves. "I felt like I threw the ball pretty good. It's been a tough few outings for sure, today more so because the results did not reflect the way I threw the baseball."
Nathan lost Gose after getting up 0-2 on him, though the 3-2 pitch was borderline. The Toronto center fielder stole second and advanced to third on shortstop Jose Reyes' single that sneaked through the infield.
Left fielder Melky Cabrera popped out before Bautista, Toronto's right fielder, hit a bouncer that skipped past shortstop Andrew Romine to bring home Gose. Nathan departed after walking Encarnacion.
"Reyes hits a ball that finds a hole. It barely makes the outfield grass. but he gets it in the right spot," Nathan said. "I get a big out and get a chance to get out of the inning. Then Bautista comes up, first pitch, I make a good pitch, and again, it's just one of those things where all I can do is try to do is get a ground ball or popup, and from there, you hope the results work out."
Pillar hit a sacrifice fly off Ian Krol to make it 2-0. Second baseman Lawrie then smacked his three-run shot to right field off Al Alburquerque.
NOTES: The Blue Jays recalled RHP Chad Jenkins from Triple-A Buffalo before the game. Jenkins was 1-3 with a 4.01 ERA and two saves in 13 appearances for the Bisons. He allowed three runs in three innings in a stint with Toronto earlier this season. A roster spot opened when RHP Liam Hendriks was optioned to Buffalo on Sunday. ... Tigers rookie 3B Nick Castellanos did not play. He hit .222 during the Tigers' road trip to Oakland and Seattle last week, dropping his season average to .235. ... Detroit plays 11 of its next 15 games at home. ... The Tigers are 22-2 when scoring five or more runs. ... Toronto had lost six of its last seven and 10 of its last 14 games at Comerica Park before Tuesday. ... The Blue Jays hit a home run in 14 of their past 16 games.