Anibal Sánchez gave the Tigers seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on five hits, while striking out five, the offense backed him up with seven runs, and the bullpen nailed the game down as the Tigers got back to their winning ways on Friday night.
Sánchez got into a little early trouble, spotting the Rangers two runs in the top of the second, before the Tigers quickly answered in the bottom half of the frame when Austin Jackson busted out of a slump in a big way with a two run homer.
After tying the game in the second, the Tigers took the lead in the third on a Miguel Cabrera double that scored Ian Kinsler, and added on runs in three of the next four innings, while Sánchez did his job on the other side of things. After giving up the two runs on three hits in the second, Sánchez faced the minimum the rest of the way (via Dan Dickerson) and came out after seven with 99 pitches thrown.
More after the jump
After Sánchez departed, Al Aburquerque came into the game and threw a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two, and Ian Krol finished off the win.
As far as the Rangers are concerned, Scott Baker looked like a guy who has not pitched very much in the last few years. He struggled with his breaking ball, leaving it up in the zone, and his fastball was no match for the Tigers hitters. Alexi Ogando, the reliever who terrorized the Tigers’ bats in the 2011 ALCS, followed Baker with two innings, and looked somewhat shaky at times. Ogando gave up a homer to Andrew Romine, the first of his career!
Rick Porcello (7-1, 1.3 WAR) takes the mound tomorrow afternoon, while the Rangers send out rookie Nick Martinez (0-1, 0.2 WAR). The game is a national TV broadcast, and game time is at 4pm.
The important thing is ANDREW ROMNINE FIRST CAREER HOME RUN!
• Nick Castellanos hasn’t taken a walk in a month.
• With that homerun, Andrew Romine is no longer the active MLB leader in at bats without a homerun. That honor now belongs to Ben Revere.
• Romine had actually gone 22 at bats without a hit before that homer.
• Baker had only appeared in three games in the last two years prior to tonight’s start.
• Kinsler (.326), Cabrera (also at .326) and Martinez (.323) are your top three hitters in the AL, via Dickerson.