The Detroit Tigers sent Anibal Sanchez(W, 3.04 ERA) to the mound against the Kansas City Royals and despite a rocky ninth inning, won by a score of 2-1.
Sanchez pitched well, seeming to have recovered his control from his previous outing. He was able to keep his pitch count low by pounding the strike zone. He got into a jam in the first inning and gave up a run to tie the game at one, but was able to escape unscathed when he had runners in scoring position in the third and the seventh after doubles from Nori Aoki and Mike Moustakas respectively. Because of his low pitch count, Anibal was able to pitch through the seventh and get the ball to the Tigers’ set up man, Joba Chamberlain.
Sanchez’s final line: 7IP, 8H, 1R/ER, 0BB, 3K
Joba had a rough start to his inning, giving up a hit to Aoki on the first pitch of the eighth. Aoki then stole second, and moved to third on a bad throw by Alex Avila, but batter interference was called on Lorenzo Cain, who had struck out and Aoki was moved back to first base. This turned out to be a huge break for Chamberlain and the Tigers as Eric Hosmer tallied his third hit of the night in the next at bat, putting two on with one out and the fourth and fifth hitters coming up. Chamberlain recovered though and retired Salvador Perez and Billy Butler on fly outs to center field.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth inning, in a save situation, up by one run. He had issues with his command, giving up a hit with one out to Omar Infante and then walking Jarrod Dyson. While the inning was nothing less than ugly, Nathan was able to take Alcides Escobar down on strikes and Aoki grounded out to Cabrera to end the inning and the game.
The Tigers were able to string together scoring opportunities and capitalize on them in the first and third innings, where Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera accounted for both of the Tigers’ runs for the game. Detroit had opportunities in the fifth and the seventh, but a base running error by Nick Castellanos possibly cost the Tigers an additional insurance run. Luckily enough, one run was just barely enough.
The Tigers and Royals face off again tomorrow at 7:10pm.