The Toronto right-hander was knocked out of the game in the second inning Thursday — the latest poor start a Blue Jays' pitcher — and the Detroit Tigers rolled to an 11-1 victory at chilly Comerica Park.
Miguel Cabrera tripled, scored twice and even stole a base for the Tigers, and Doug Fister (2-0) allowed a run and eight hits in eight innings.
Johnson (0-1) allowed six runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings — the shortest start of his career.
"I haven't thrown a slider for a strike yet, and I need that pitch. When I'm throwing it for strikes, it is something that the hitters have to think about, but this is two starts now, and it hasn't happened," Johnson said. "I didn't have anything today. They were all over my curveball for some reason, and the fastball was just hanging over the plate."
Prince Fielder had four RBIs and Torii Hunter added three for the Tigers.
The temperature at game time was 35 degrees — the coldest for a Detroit home game since 1996, according to STATS.
"It certainly was uncomfortable pitching out there today, but look what the other guy did," Johnson said.
The Blue Jays have not lived up to expectations early because of poor pitching. Their starters are now 1-4 with a 7.59 ERA.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland said before the game he was looking forward to his team's upcoming road trip out west, but the Tigers didn't let the rough weather slow them. In fact, they looked ready to run. Cabrera caught Toronto napping in the first, stealing third before Johnson even started his pitching motion. Victor Martinez's RBI single made it 1-0.
"Miggy stealing, getting a triple — we were running around a lot today," Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. "Had to — it was pretty cold outside."
Mark DeRosa tied it with a sacrifice fly, but Johnson got only one out in the second. That was Omar Infante's sacrifice fly that made it 2-1. Austin Jackson and Hunter followed with consecutive RBI singles, Cabrera's triple brought home another run, and Fielder added a run-scoring single to chase Johnson.
Toronto, a chic pick to win the AL East after acquiring Johnson, Jose Reyes and R.A. Dickey in the off-season, has lost three straight series to start the year for the first time since 1978. The Blue Jays lost four straight series to start that season.
"We definitely need a good outing pretty soon to help the bullpen, and things aren't going to get much easier in Kansas City," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "These were tough conditions, but look what Fister did with them. It's definitely not easy to pitch in, but that's not an excuse."
The Tigers blew a 6-1 lead in an 8-6 loss to Toronto on Wednesday, but they had no trouble holding on this time. Jackson had three hits and three runs for Detroit. He's reached base in all nine games this year.
Hunter hit a two-run single in the fifth, and Fielder added a two-run double. Fielder's sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 11-1.
NOTES: Fister struck out five and walked one. ... Detroit had 16 hits. ... The Tigers still haven't made an error this season. ... Johnson's shortest previous start was 2 2-3 innings at San Diego last season. ... The Tigers hosted a game in 34-degree weather on April 9, 1996, against Seattle at old Tiger Stadium. ... Detroit plays at Oakland on Friday night in a rematch of last year's AL Division Series, won by the Tigers in five games. Detroit RHP Max Scherzer (1-0) faces Oakland RHP Bartolo Colon (1-0). ... Toronto is at Kansas City on Friday night. The Blue Jays send LHP J.A. Happ (1-0) to the mound against RHP Luis Mendoza (0-0).