The Detroit Tigers returned from the All Star Break with Anibal Sanchez on the mound against their division rival Cleveland Indians and while Sanchez was on his game through six, he lost it in the seventh, pitching to four batters without recording an out. The bullpen didn’t help and the Tigers failed to recover, losing 9-3.
Anibal Sanchez came out strong and had great control right out of the gate. He gave up his first hit in the third inning, to Yan Gomes, but left him stranded at first. Sanchez gave up one out singles to Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana but Lonnie Chisenhall grounded into a double play to end the threat and the inning. Sanchez pitched one-two-three innings in the fifth and sixth innings. He surrendered a lead off single to Brantley, who promptly stole second base, eliminating the double play. He then issued a walk, his first of the game, to Santana. Chisenhall then singled to load the bases with no one out. Nick Swisher then singled to score Brantley and Santana, leaving runners at first and third with no one out, when Sanchez was pulled from the game in favor of Ian Krol.
Sanchez’s final line: 6IP(4 batters faced in the seventh,) 6H, 4R/ER, 1BB, 7K
Krol came in to face former Tiger Ryan Raburn and gave up an RBI double, and was then pulled for Al Alburquerque to face Yan Gomes. Alburquerque made quick work of the first two batters he faced before giving up a three run homer to Jason Kipnis and a solo home run immediately following from Asdrubal Cabrera. Alburquerque was then replaced by Blaine Hardy, who gave up a single to Brantley, who led off the inning, but popped Santana up to finally end the inning.
Phil Coke pitched the eighth and walked Chisenhall to lead off, then got Swisher to ground into a double play before giving up a double to Raburm. Coke then issued an intentional walk to Gomes before retiring pinch hitter Mike Aviles to end the inning.
Chad Smith was called on to pitch the ninth, and Kipnis hit his second home run of the night to make it 8-3. Brantley doubled with one out and Chisenhall walked before Swisher hit a ground rule double to extend the Indians’ lead by another run. Smith finally ended the inning with a Raburn pop up.
The Tigers’ offense was kept hit-less through the first two innings, but broke out against Trevor Bauer in the third inning. Nick Castellanos led off with a legged out double and was followed by a single off the bat of Alex Avila. Austin Jackson then walked to load the bases. Ian Kinsler got an RBI on a sac fly to score Castellanos, but the Tigers were held to only one, despite the bases loaded threat.
Victor Martinez led off the fourth inning with a single, followed by a single by J.D. Martinez. Torii Hunter followed them up with a double that scored Martinez the first, but Martinez the second was thrown out at the plate. Hunter then stole third base and scored on the attempted put out by Gomes.
The Tigers got things started again in the sixth inning with lead off single by Miguel Cabrera, who took advantage of the shift(yes, the shift) the Indians employed against him. Cabrera then notched his first steal of the season, but was stranded when Hunter grounded out.
The seventh inning started with a walk to Castellanos and a loud out to deep center field by Avila. Suarez then singled, but Jackson grounded into a double play to end the inning without allowing the Tigers to recover a run.
Cabrera and Victor Martinez singled back to back in the eighth, but were stranded.
The Detroit Tigers and Indians play a double-header tomorrow with game one at 1:08pm and game two at 7:08pm at Comerica Park.