"It's tough to ask your bullpen to go five clean innings there at the end," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They swing it over there. It's a tough lineup to face and they keep coming after you."
Avila fought out of an 0-2 count for a leadoff walk against Jeff Beliveau (1-1) in the 11th. Josh Donaldson's bobble of Nicholas Castellanos' grounder and Justin Upton's walk continued the inning, loading the bases for Cabrera. Former Tigers farmhand Lucas Harrell nearly hit Cabrera with his 2-1 pitch, but ran the count full before missing the outside corner.
"Guys get caught up, especially in extra innings or in the bottom of the ninth, wanting to be the hero," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "They want the walk-off home run, and you really have to kind of relax yourself and take what they give you."
"He has to throw strikes. The at-bat before, I swung at two bad pitches, so I was focused on swinging at strikes and making him throw strikes." -- Cabrera, on his game-winning walk
"I obviously do have to command the ball a little bit better. Especially my off-speed stuff. I've been struggling with my changeup. Today, I didn't really throw too many for strikes." -- Estrada, on his recent command woes
Cabrera has seven career walk-off home runs and 16 career bases-loaded walks. This was his first career walk-off walk.
The crew chief review of Martinez's eighth-inning home run lasted just 31 seconds. Umpires originally ruled it a double before replay showed the ball hit above the yellow line atop the right-field wall. Martinez trotted home with the tying run.
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays head to Boston for a 7:10 p.m. ET game on Monday against a Red Sox team that followed up a 16-inning game Saturday with a doubleheader on Sunday. Marcus Stroman, who will start for Toronto, has a 10.29 ERA in four starts against Boston since the start of 2016.
Tigers: The Tigers head to Kansas City for a four-game series against the Royals, beginning with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound Monday night. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.
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Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Blue Jays on Sunday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.