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Tigers 7, Marlins 3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia's 4-RBI day backs Anibal Sanchez's solid start

Also, Victor Martinez homered. Again.

Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The Miami Marlins are paying a large chunk of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's 2016 salary and he repaid that with a big day against his old team. Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez had a solid afternoon and Victor Martinez is a monster. The Tigers went on to win 7-3 over the Marlins with only minor shenanigans from the bullpen, a nice reprieve from Tuesday night's antics.

The first five innings were all about Marlins starter Jose Fernandez. He had 12 strikeouts through five, had walked just one batter. He'd struck out Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera twice apiece and Justin Upton was rudely greeted thrice. His only mistake was an 0-2 curveball to Saltalamacchia. But his high strikeouts would also be his undoing and in the sixth the Tigers kicked him out of the game.

Meanwhile, Sanchez was having a solid game, howbeit lacking the flashy strikeouts -- he had just three through five innings. The movement on his pitches was what made the difference and he allowed just three hits. However, his three walks were indicative of some latent inconsistencies, and when the sixth inning came around it came to fruition.

After a leadoff walk and double, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus pulled Sanchez and replaced him with Drew VerHagen. While VerHagen gave up those runs, it was Nick Castellanos' poor defensive play -- he played a statue -- on a chopper to left that allowed the second to score. (Also, the argument could've been made to pull Sanchez for a pinch-runner in the top half but with a 5-0 lead, but Ausmus could've gone either way with it.)

Probably the best moment of the afternoon, though, was when Victor Martinez pinch-hit for Justin Wilson in the eighth. He did something no baseball player has done in over 100 years -- hit a pinch-hit home run in the first two games of the year. He's a beast. As for Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez, they haven't dingered yet, but both have been making solid contact and it's only a matter of time.


Jarrod Saltalamacchia: In a pitcher's duel, Salty got to Fernandez on a two-run homer to put the Tigers up 2-0. It was all the team would get for five solid innings. He then smacked a two-run double in the sixth that nearly cleared the fence.

Anibal Sanchez: In his first outing of the 2016 season, Sanchez went five innings plus two batters, gave up two runs, walked three, and struck out three. It's a fine start for a new year after the adjustments he made to his mechanics after last season's struggles.

Victor Martinez: Two pinch-hitting opportunities. Two home runs. That has been V-Mart's start to the 2016 season.  Wow.


Nick Castellanos: Wasn't going to add this, but the second bad play on defense changed my mind. He fell over like a log in the sixth on a weak grounder, and then again in the ninth. Neither ball was hit hard and Castellanos should've made both plays.

Logan Kensing: Allowed three straight hits and a run in the ninth, bringing the tying run on-deck. As a result, Tigers' closer Francisco Rodriguez had to be brought into the game with runners on second and third, following a bad debut the night before. (K-Rod also walked a batter to load the bases before striking out Giancarlo Stanton to end the game.)


  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his first home run against his old team (they're still paying him, too) on Wednesday. In 27 starts at Marlins Park, it was just the ninth career homer surrendered by Jose Fernandez.
  • The Tigers challenged a safe call of Giancarlo Stanton at second base in the eighth. After review, the call was upheld
  • Victor Martinez is the first player (in all of MLB) since 1900 to hit a pinch-hit homer in the first two games of the year, according to Elias Sports. And he did it from opposite sides of the plate.
  • Additionally, V-Mart is the first Tigers player to homer (regardless of hitting position) in his first two games since Brandon Inge hit a home run in each of the first three games of the 2009 season.

(Tweet translation: Venezuelans with the most hits in MLB)


Source: FanGraphs