The Detroit Tigers lost their second in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays today, with Anibal Sanchez(5-3, 3.18 ERA) taking the loss on his worst performance of the season. Sanchez started strong, pitching four hit-less innings before giving up a solo home run to Logan Forsythe with one out in the fifth inning. It was all downhill from there for Sanchez, who walked Ryan Hanigan, gave up an RBI triple to Kevin Kiermaier and an RBI single to Desmond Jennings for three runs total before getting Ben Zobrist to ground into a double play. Things didn’t improve for Sanchez in the sixth, who loaded the bases with no one out on back to back singles by Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria and a walk to James Loney. Brandon Guyer had an RBI sac fly scoring Joyce and advancing Longoria to third, and then gave up an RBI bunt single to Forsythe. Sanchez retired Hanigan on a fly out, and was then removed from the game with two runners belonging to him still on the bases.
Phil Coke relieved Sanchez and, after several successful outings in a row, gave up a two RBI triple to Kiermaier, his second of the game. Coke then retired Jennings to end the inning, but allowed both of his inherited runners to score.
Anibal Sanchez’ final line: 5.2IP, 6H, 7R/ER, 4BB, 1K.
Coke pitched the seventh and gave up a single to Zobrist to lead off, but was able to retire the next three in a row without allowing a run to score.
Joba Chamberlain gave up a walk with one out in the eighth, but Hanigan grounded into a double play to end the inning. Pat McCoy and Blaine Hardy combined to pitch the ninth, neither one with their best stuff, giving up a combined three hits and one walk, but no runs.
To say the Tigers’ offense was anemic would be an understatement. They combined for only six hits, two of which were solo home runs by Alex Avila in the seventh and J.D. Martinez in the ninth. Avila had the most successful day at the plate, with two walks in addition to the solo homer. Ian Kinsler also had a hit and Torii Hunter had two, serving as the DH for Victor Martinez, who was out, again, with a sore side. Seven men were left on base for Detroit.
The Detroit Tigers take on the Tampa Bay Rays again tomorrow night at 8pm for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball at Comerica Park.