Anibal Sanchez rebounded from his previous shaky outing and the Detroit Tigers took the series opener against the Minnesota Twins, 6-3.
The Tigers chased Twins RHP Ervin Santana off the mound early, tagging the All-Star for five earned runs in just 3⅓ innings. Victor Martinez led the way, belting a solo homer to center in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth. Justin Upton added an RBI knock in the third, and Mikie Mahtook came home on a wild pitch in the fourth to round out the early offense. Alex Avila’s ninth-inning sacrifice fly added an insurance run.
Anibal Sanchez was steady and scoreless through three innings, but opened the fourth with a single, a walk, and an RBI single from Miguel Sanó to put the Twins on the board. Sanchez would put down the next two, but a two-out, bases-loaded liner by Ehire Adrianza plated two more to bring the Twins within two.
Sanchez pitched into the sixth with no further damage, giving way to the bullpen after 5⅔ innings. Daniel Stumpf, Shane Greene and Bruce Rondon kept the game relatively stress-free through the eighth, and Justin Wilson came in to record his 11th save.
The Tigers are now 5-2 on the season against the Twins and sit 5½ games behind the Cleveland Indians atop the AL Central.
- Victor Martinez went yard twice for his seventh and eighth home runs on the season. He’s hitting 11-29 since the All-Star break and has reached safely in each game.
- Anibal Sanchez didn’t pitch deep enough for the quality start, but he kept the ball in the park and preserved the lead. So far, he’s performed as well as you could ask of your fifth starter.
- The slow decay of human bodies: Mikie Mahtook turned an ankle trying to return to base, and Miguel Cabrera took a ground ball to the collarbone on a bad hop. Mahtook stayed in the game, but Cabrera came out for Andrew Romine the next inning and is day-to-day. Sometimes the injury reaper will take you by a thousand cuts.
Stats and Info
Victor Martinez hit the 234th and 235th home runs of his career tonight, passing Twins manager Paul Molitor on the all-time list.— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) July 22, 2017