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The roof at Rogers Centre was clamped shut for Sunday’s Canada Day showdown between the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers out of deference to the searing heat wave that enveloped Southern Ontario.

The paying customers, in excess of 37,000 – but not a sellout – did not seem to mind, remaining cool and festive as they took in a lavish pre-game ceremony celebrating Canada’s 151st birthday.

The invited guests included members of the Canadian air force, army and navy along with 13 Toronto Police officers who were among the first to respond to the Yonge Street van tragedy, which took the lives of 10 people in April.

That included Constable Ken Lam, who displayed extraordinary fortitude when he arrested suspect Alek Minassian on the street shortly after the carnage had concluded. Lam threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The accolades poured in from across the country. Even Canadian-born actor and funny man Seth Rogen chimed in with a celebratory tweet. “Happy 151st birthday Canada!” he wrote. “You don’t look a day over 137.”

After the unfurling of a gigantic Canadian flag in the outfield during the national anthem, the baseball fans settled back into their seats, ready for more celebrating.

J.A. Happ, after all, was on the mound for the Blue Jays.

The lefty, as close as the struggling team has to a bona-fide ace, was looking to extend his winning streak to seven games, not to mention increase his marketability as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

But there would be no Canada Day celebrations for Happ, who was roughed up for seven runs off 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings as the Tigers (37-48) ended an ugly 11-game slump with a 9-1 romp over the Blue Jays (39-44).

The big blow was provided by Nicholas Castellanos, who crunched a grand slam off Happ in the five-run fifth inning that vaulted the Tigers in front 5-1.

Castellanos might have had a second home run, in the top of the ninth, were it not for yet another eye-popping defensive play by centre fielder Kevin Pillar.

Pillar galloped back and timed his jump at the wall perfectly to snare the ball as it was about to clear the wall as the home town crowd roared in adulation. It was a great catch.

Even Castellanos was impressed by Pillar’s fielding larceny, turning toward the Toronto player after he made the grab and applauding, a sight you don’t often see.

It helped lift the spirits of the fans, although Pillar did not see it that way.

“We can’t control their mood,” Pillar said. “I mean, everyone was excited for Canada Day and things started out well. We had the right guy on the mound.

“They’ve been swinging the bats well, they just haven’t been able to win games, and they got the big grand slam. And they had a couple of balls fall in there, too, that kind of put the game out of reach.”

The Blue Jays jumped in front in the first inning when Teoscar Hernandez belted his sixth triple of the season, the most for a Toronto player since Rajai Davis recorded six in 2011.

He scored the game’s first run when Justin Smoak hit a ground-rule double to right.

It wasn’t that Happ pitched poorly. He was pretty much in control early, with a couple of timely double plays behind him in the third and fourth innings to help him.

But the good fortune ended in the fifth, when the Tigers put five on the board in what was a good old-fashioned two-out rally.

It began when Leonys Martin bunted just to the left side of the mound with the bases loaded in a 0-0 game.

Happ slid to the ground fielding the ball but was unable to get a throw off and Niko Goodrum (is there any other kind?) was able romp home safely from third.

Martin suffered a left hamstring cramp while dashing to first base and had to come out of the game.

Castellanos then stepped to the plate and savored the first pitch he saw from Happ, a 91-mile-an-hour fastball, and put a charge into it, sending it deep to right-centre.

The ball hit the top of the wall and carried out for a grand slam that effectively ended Toronto’s afternoon.

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