DETROIT -- Anibal Sanchez is still in desperate need of repair. Or more. Once again he couldn't cut it and the Detroit Tigers tried to extend his outing just a little too far. The offense couldn't string together enough key hits to outlast a rough bullpen outing, and the Tigers snapped their four-game winning streak, dropping an 8-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Once again, Sanchez had a couple of brief moments where he was solid, but then there were others where he imploded. He's become pitching's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the offense couldn't bail him out this time. Phillies starter Aaron Nola had a filthy curveball and a fastball that, while devoid of high heat, had the Tigers off balance for much of the game.
Sanchez didn't record a 1-2-3 inning until the fifth and it was his only one. He had at least one baserunner to deal with in every other inning, and in the second and fifth those proved costly. The Tigers' defense (or lack thereof) was of no help to him whatsoever, either. They made two errors and there was miscommunication in the infield on more than one occasion. By the time the seventh came around, Sanchez was already taxed.
Acting manager Gene Lamont sent him back out to face Peter Bourjos and give Kyle Ryan a lefty-lefty matchup, but the decision ended up as a ball in the visiting bullpen for a homer, Sanchez's second allowed home run of the day. The Tigers scored four runs (three in the fifth) by the seventh but Detroit's pitching wasn't giving them a chance to pull ahead. The offense had a couple more chances to pull ahead -- Steven Moya hit a leadoff triple in the eighth -- but they couldn't add on.
Fifth inning: The Tigers rattled off five hits against Nola, scoring three runs and most of them on the fastball. Cameron Maybin's came on a curveball, a pitch that the Tigers had largely been unable to hit. For one inning, Nola was vulnerable and the Tigers took advantage of it. This would turn out to be the only inning in which he appeared to be hittable for any prolonged period of time.
Jose Iglesias: Had his first multi-hit game since May 1, driving in a run in the third on an RBI single. He also singled in the fifth, scoring on RBI single by J.D. Martinez.
Cameron Maybin: Another two-hit day for Maybin. He also drove in a run in the fifth.
Anibal Sanchez: Gave up six runs (three earned) on eight hits, including two home runs -- one was a three-run homer in the fourth.
Bullpen: Two runs (one inherited) allowed in the seventh and a run on back-to-back doubles in the eighth. The game would at least be tied were it not for those three runs.
An aside note: home plate umpire Brian Gorman called quite the strange game. His strike zone was all over the place and he regularly gave Phillies batters late time. Tigers batters, who would ask for time with more cushion before a pitch were not granted time and there were several Tigers who took issue with that fact. At one point, Gorman called time for a batter in the eighth *as* Alex Wilson was mid-windup and about to throw the pitch. By the time Wilson saw it, he'd already delivered the pitch and the umpire had done little more than put his hands up as an indication.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Mike Aviles' double in the third inning marked his first extra-base hit of the season.
- Jose Iglesias snapped an 0-for-7 hitless slump with his RBI single in the third inning. It was just his second hit in the last 19 at-bats, the other coming on May 22 as a late-inning replacement. The RBI was also his first driven in since he knocked in two RBI on May 17, six games ago. He later singled in the fifth inning, giving him his first two-hit day since May 1.
- Cameron Maybin had another multi-hit game, his third straight game with multiple hits recorded in each. It's the eighth time in his MLB career he's done so -- the last was when he had five straight multi-hit games on Aug. 12-17, 2015.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: