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Astros 5, Tigers 4: Anibal Sanchez gave up more home runs

The Astros flexed their muscles against Anibal Sanchez, and the Tigers weren't able to recover.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Just as they did in the first two games of the series, the Astros jumped all over the Tigers in the first inning. Only this time, Houston was able to tack on runs later in the game to solidify a 5-4 victory. The Tigers made it interesting, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia continued his torrid April with his fourth home run of the season, but it wasn't enough to overcome the subpar starting pitching of Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez gave up a home run to Jose Altuve to lead off the game, and struggled to make it through five innings. Sanchez was erratic all afternoon, throwing 68 strikes out of 110 pitches. While his strike-ball-ratio wasn't all that bad, he was missing up in the zone with nearly all of his pitches. George Springer made Sanchez pay on a hanging breaking ball in the third inning, pummeling a solo shot way out to left-center field.

The offense of the Tigers went to work in the top of the fifth inning. After going through the first four innings unscathed, Saltalamacchia hit a line drive home run off of Mike Fiers to put Detroit on the board. A batter later, Jose Iglesias slapped a single up the middle, and then Ian Kinsler followed with a long home run to left field to pull within two runs.

After putting two runners on in the fifth inning, Sanchez was able to end his outing with a strikeout of Marwin Gonzalez. Trailing 5-3 in the sixth, J.D. Martinez deposited a 1-2 fastball from Fiers into the right field seats to pull the Tigers within one. While they put pressure on the Astros in the seventh and the eighth innings, they weren't able to complete the comeback despite getting nice work from their bullpen.

ROARS:

Ian Kinsler: Last year, Kinsler didn't hit his fourth home run until July 20th. With his fifth-inning blast to left field, he now has four home runs in the month of April.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Two hits including another home run. Thanks for paying for him, Jeffrey Loria!

Alex Wilson: After missing the start of the season with a right shoulder injury, Alex Wilson made a triumphant return to the mound today. Wilson tossed an inning and a third, striking out two and allowing no hits.

HISSES:

Anibal Sanchez: 2015 Sanchez returned as he gave up two home runs in five innings while featuring poor command all afternoon. However, he still managed to strike out eight. Silver lining?

Miguel Cabrera: Probably one of the only times this season where Miggy will get a hiss, but a throwing error in the fourth kept the inning going and allowed the Astros to add two runs. He also didn't have any hits, which is very un-Miggy-like.

Justin Upton: Upton took his strikeout percentage over 40 percent today with two more Ks. Additionally, he was rung up by home plate umpire Rob Drake for throwing his bat after a questionable third strike call to end the top half of the seventh inning.

STREAKS AND STATS:

J.D. Martinez hit his 63rd non-Astros home run today, once again making Houston look silly for releasing him.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs