It was a night of redemption for Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez has not been good since putting the old English D on his chest. Coming into the game, Sanchez was 1-3 with an ERA close to eight with the Tigers.
Manger Jim Leyland had pushed Sanchez’s start back so he could have eight days rest to try and figure out what was wrong. Pitching coach Jeff Jones said before the game they had worked on keeping the ball down and his hip rotation so he could stay on top of the ball.
You could see whatever they worked on helped a lot. Sanchez was outstanding in his fifth start with the Tigers. In 6 2/3 innings of work, Sanchez only allowed two runs, while scattering five hits and struck out six.
The Tigers’ offense has been staggering over the home stand. After the game tonight they were 5-for-38 with runners in scoring position on this home stand. Omar Infante would get the offense started off by collecting the Tigers’ first hit in the bottom of the fourth with a triple. Infante would score on a wild pitch by Aaron Laffey.
Jeff Baker and Prince Fielder had two of the biggest hits of the night. Baker came up in the bottom of the fifth and singled in Delmon Young with two outs. Fielder in the bottom of the sixith singled in Austin Jackson. Jackson was nearly thrown out at the plate, but catcher Jeff Mathis dropped the ball at the plate.
Aaron Laffey looked as impressive as Sanchez did tonight. Although he came out on the losing side, Laffey went six strong innings, gave up three runs, two earned, and five hits.
Joaquin Benoit pitched another strong eighth inning, not allowing a run, setting up the ninth for Jose Valverde. Valverde came on in the ninth, retiring the first two hitters he faced before Omar Vizquel came up with a pinch-hit single. Vizquel was thrown out trying to steal second, which would end the game.
Justin Verlander (12-7) will wrap up the series against J.A Happ (9-10) tomorrow afternoon. The Tigers look to take a sweep from the Jays, and hopefully gain more ground on the Chicago White Sox.
John Czech is a writer for Rant Sports. His main focus is the Detroit Tigers, but you will see him write about all of the MLB. He can be found on Twitter at: @JohnCzech