Anibal Sanchez has not always had the best of times when it comes to run support this year. That trend continued, but Sanchez didn’t seem to care – he pitched the Tigers to a 1-0 victory, the lone run coming on a two-out single in the eighth.
Sanchez was story number one. He got into a bit of trouble in the first inning, but after that he was in total control. He pitched 7.1 innings, struck out ten, and didn’t allow a run. His command wasn’t precise – he walked four – but he only allowed five hits and was able to work around the baserunners.
On the other side, Jose Quintana was matching Sanchez. The Tigers had the bases loaded with one out in the first, but a popup and a strikeout followed and Detroit didn’t score. Quintana went on to pitch seven scoreless innings. He, too, allowed just five hits, walked two, and struck out six.
The Tigers, as it turned out, had to get to the bullpen, and Matt Lindstrom proved to be just what the doctor ordered. Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez delivered consecutive one out singles and, after a Nick Castellanos flyout, Omar Infante came through with a two-out ground ball single to score Fielder.
That turned out to be the only run of the game as the Tigers went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position; Chicago countered with a 1-for-8 of their own. After Sanchez allowed a single and a walk in the 8th, Jose Veras came in to strike out Paul Konerko and Drew Smyly did the same to Adam Dunn to shut down Chicago’s last rally. The Sox went down 1-2-3 against Joaquin Benoit in the ninth as he collected his first save since August 24.
The win means the Tigers’ magic number is down to eleven and it could be reduced further this weekend in a big series against the Kansas City Royals, who continue to harbor postseason ambitions of their own.