DETROIT -- After the Detroit Tigers took an early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Miguel Cabrera, Anibal Sanchez blew away the lead by allowing a career-high nine runs and he failed to make it out of the fourth inning. The Tigers lost to the Chicago White Sox 12-3, taking their second loss of 2015, handing Detroit a 9-2 record to start the year. J.D. Martinez hit a solo home run in the fourth, but it did nothing to eat away at Chicago's sizable lead.
From the beginning it was easy to see that Sanchez was not sharp. It took 17 pitches to get out of the first, and while the second gave him no trouble, the third quickly unraveled on him. After Sanchez gave up a walk, RBI double, and a single, Adam LaRoche hit a three-run home run to right field. Sanchez then gave up back-to-back doubles to start the fourth inning and issued a walk that loaded the bases. Following an RBI single by Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu hit the second grand slam of his career to left, knocking Sanchez out of the game.
Blaine Hardy replaced Sanchez and promptly gave up back-to-back singles, which was followed by an RBI single and a sacrifice fly. A flyout to right finally ended the inning, but not before severe damage was done against the Tigers. What was once a 1-0 lead for Detroit became an 11-1 deficit. Hardy came back out for the fifth, but a leadoff walk, single, and an RBI double ended his day at 37 pitches. Angel Nesbitt replaced him with two out and ended the inning. He allowed a walk and a single in the sixth, but got out of it without allowing a run to score.
Meanwhile, the Tigers' offense wasn't doing much to help come back from the dead so-to-speak, but with Chris Sale on the mound it's hard to get much of anything going. Following a 28-pitch first inning in which the Tigers scored a run on an RBI single by Miguel Cabrera, Sale recovered to throw a 12-pitch second. J.D. Martinez hit his fifth home run of the season in the fourth, but other than a leadoff single by Jose Iglesias and a walk by Cabrera in the third, the offense fell quiet. They would not get another hit until the eighth when Andrew Romine singled up the middle with two out. Following a walk to Alex Avila, Nick Castellanos -- pinch hitting for Victor Martinez -- whistled an RBI single over the White Sox shortstop, making it a 12-3 deficit.
Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning of one-hit ball, striking out two and retiring the side on eight pitches. Al Alburquerque came out for the eighth and put up his own scoreless inning of work, allowing a hit and a walk, striking out a batter in that time. Joba Chamberlain took over the ninth, allowing one hit and nothing more. With the exception of Hardy, of all the things that went wrong for the Tigers on Saturday, the bullpen was not one of them. They pitched a combined 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks, striking out four.
Miguel Cabrera: On his birthday, Cabrera nailed a line drive RBI single in the first inning, giving the Tigers the early lead. He also drew a walk in the third, which put two on at the time.
J.D. Martinez: Hit his fifth home run of the season in the fifth inning, an opposite field solo shot well into the right field seats, giving the White Sox a papercut to making it an 11-2 score in favor of Chicago.
Tigers bullpen: Gorzelanny came on in the seventh and put up the first scoreless inning for the Tigers since the second. He retired the 2-3-4 White Sox hitters in order on eight pitches, striking out two. Excluding Hardy, the Tigers' bullpen combined for 4 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, allowing no runs, walking two and striking out four.
Nick Castellanos: Pinch hitting for Victor Martinez, Castellanos hit an 0-1 pitch to left field for a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning. Blowout loss or not, he still produced off the bench after a day off.
Anibal Sanchez: Gave up nine runs on nine hits and four doubles in 3 1/3 innings of work. He gave up two home runs, a three-run bomb by Adam LaRoche in the third, and a grand slam to Jose Abreu in the fourth. He didn't just have a rough day, it was the worst start of his major league career.
Blaine Hardy: In 1 1/3 innings-pitched, Hardy gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits, walked a batter, allowed a sacrifice fly, and had a wild pitch. His day ended on 37 pitches, failing to strike a batter out.
Most of the Tigers offense: It's Chris Sale, so typically there's not much hitters can do. The Tigers had just six hits and two walks, with three runs scored. They had just two chances to score outside of the first and fourth innings -- a two-on opportunity in the third that ended in a whimper, and
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Miguel Cabrera has hit safely on 10 of his last 11 birthdays with his first inning RBI single, and is hitting .400 with eight RBI on his birthday.
- Anibal Sanchez gave up the fourth and fifth home runs of the 2015 season. He allowed four home runs all of last year. The nine runs allowed by Sanchez were the most-allowed in his major league career.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: