There was a chill in the air at Comerica Park that seemed to reach deep into the core of anyone wearing blue.

It began with the Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson, who retired the first two batters of the game with the temperature at first pitch at 2C. The next 11 Tigers pounded out seven hits, with two walks and a sacrifice fly.

You’re not in Miami anymore, J.J.

The Jays are a mess. They make physical mistakes, they make mental mistakes, they make defensive mistakes and they make mistakes running the bases.

Their heads are not in the game.

There was a play that went unnoticed in the fifth inning. With Jose Reyes on first base, Melky Cabrera sliced a ball deep down the left field line, landing just three feet foul. Neither runner moved, they just watched.

By the end of the second inning, the Tigers had built up another five-run lead, but this time they didn’t squander it as they had the night before. This time they held on to win 11-1, sending the Jays to their third straight series defeat. Toronto pitching in the last four games has allowed 37 runs.

Johnson, entering his free agent season, is in his first American League campaign after growing up Marlin. He said that he notices somewhat of a difference between the way offences operate in the two leagues.

“They swing a little bit more, it seems like,” Johnson said of AL hitters. “I guess with the pitcher hitting, some guys want to get that count up a little quicker here. You’ve got nine guys that can swing it. Definitely a little more swinging, so you’ve got to be careful.”

As for the rotation, the Jays’ five starting pitchers have combined for 42 2/3 innings and a 7.59 ERA, easily the highest in the American League. The longest outing by a Toronto starter in the Tigers series was 4 1/3 by Brandon Morrow in the series opener.

The entire rotation is averaging less than five innings per outing. Without better performances, especially from R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Johnson, this team will be unable to compete. They are 3-6 through nine games.

“The starting rotation, for sure,” Johnson said when asked to pinpoint the one area that needs to step up. “We’ve got to get deep into games, not give up runs in the first inning. We can’t dig ourselves holes. Once that happens, it’s just like (Wednesday), we can put up runs in a hurry.”