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Anibal Sanchez celebrates his final strikeout (GIF)

Sanchez was fired up!

Al Bello

Anibal Sanchez struck out 12 Red Sox on Saturday. The last of them came at a key moment in the game: The Tigers led 1-0 in the sixth inning, but Boston batters managed to work three walks to load the bases.

Some debated -- myself included -- whether Sanchez should have been relieved at that point. Manager Jim Leyland milled about in the dugout, but made the decision to let his starter work his own way out of it. Sanchez struck out Stephen Drew to end the inning. He was pretty happy. So were we.

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Sanchez left after six innings and 116 pitches. He walked six.

The Tigers struck out 17 for the game and won the ALCS opener, 1-0.