He did his best to save a tired bullpen, but Anibal Sanchez allowed six runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings and the Detroit Tigers dropped their second game in a row to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday evening.
The Orioles got on the board first, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning. Manny Machado and Gerardo Parra led off the inning with hits, with Parra's double putting runners on second and third. A Chris Davis groundout scored Machado, then Matt Wieters hit a two-out single to score Parra. Sanchez stranded a baserunner after forcing a J.J. Hardy groundout. The Orioles extended their lead to 3-0 in the second inning.
The worst part of the game for the Tigers came in the top of the second. J.D. Martinez fouled a ball off of his left knee, resulting in a long visit from manager Brad Ausmus and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand. Martinez remained in the game for another inning, but was replaced by recently recalled outfielder Tyler Collins in the bottom of the third. All the while, Kevin Gausman was dominant for the Orioles. He retired the first 11 batters he faced, finally allowing a hit to Ian Kinsler with two outs in the top of the fourth inning.
Sanchez looked to be settling in, working a 1-2-3 inning and allowing an infield hit in the fourth. However, with one out in the fourth, the homer bug bit him again. Catcher Caleb Joseph launched a 2-1 Sanchez fastball into the left field seats, extending Baltimore's lead to 5-0. The Tigers got on the board in the top of the fifth when Nick Castellanos hit a two-run homer to right-center field. That would be it for the Tigers' bats. Gausman allowed just one more hit after the Castellanos homer, and worked seven innings with six strikeouts.
Despite the early runs, Sanchez was able to work into the seventh inning. He nearly made it through the frame, but Manny Machado belted a hanging changeup to center field for his 23rd home run of the season. The homer put the Orioles up 6-2, and ended Sanchez's night after 6 2/3 innings and 92 pitches. Blaine Hardy allowed a walk after entering the game, but struck out Adam Jones to end the inning.
Nick Castellanos: Home runs are fun, right? Castellanos hit his 11th home run of the season tonight, matching his year-long total from 2014. It was his sixth homer since June 23, and his fifth to the opposite field this year.
Ian Kinsler: Three more hits for Kinsler tonight, marking his 39th multi-hit game of the season. Kinsler hit a ground-rule double in the sixth inning, but was stranded at second base with two outs.
Ian Krol: He allowed a double in a scoreless inning, but it was a play that should have been made by Tyler Collins. Krol looked solid otherwise, inducing a couple of weakly-hit outs.
Victor Martinez: It's getting painful to watch Victor at the plate. He went hitless at the plate again, the seventh time he has done so in 16 starts since the All-Star break.
Anibal Sanchez: He ate some innings, but Sanchez's early struggles put the Tigers in a hole that a short-handed offense couldn't climb out of. He was victimized by the home run ball yet again, allowing his 23rd and 24th home runs of the season.
Anthony Gose and Jose Iglesias: A pair of 0-for-4 nights from the Tigers' top two hitters.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Anibal Sanchez allowed his 23rd and 24th home runs of the season tonight, which is already a career-high for the 31-year-old righthander. He had allowed just 21 home runs in 62 starts with the Tigers prior to the 2015 season.
- Ian Kinsler had two hits tonight, marking his 39th multi-hit game of the season. Only Texas' Prince Fielder has more multi-hit games, with 40. Kinsler has 11 three-hit games this season.
- Ian Kinsler has 10 hits in 14 at-bats in this series.
- Blaine Hardy has not allowed a home run since June 27, 2014, a streak that spans 77 2/3 innings. It is the longest homer-less streak in the major leagues after Kansas City's Wade Davis allowed a home run earlier today.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: