Based on the success Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez has achieved
versus Cleveland in the past, the Indians might not have an easy
time ending their current slide against the Tigers.
Set to be activated from the disabled list, Sanchez looks to
help the visiting Tigers to a seventh straight victory over the
slumping Indians on Saturday.
Cleveland (45-41) held a one-half game lead in the AL Central on
Tuesday, but now trails Detroit by 2 1/2 games after dropping its
third straight, 7-0 to the Tigers on Friday.
“I don’t really pay that much attention to the standings until
September,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “If this was a
four-game series in September, I’d say it’s probably a big series
but I would not say that on July 5.”
Winners in four straight overall, the Tigers (47-38) have
outscored the Indians 40-18 during their six-game series winning
streak. Detroit’s also won three in a row and six of eight at
“In perspective, for us as a team as we go through this, we
still got a lot of baseball so I think we’re excited to get some
learning curves here and there and be able to move on to the next
one,” losing pitcher Justin Masterson said.
Sanchez (6-5, 2.76 ERA) had not faced Cleveland until last
season when he went 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in four starts.
The right-hander last pitched June 15 when he allowed a two-run
homer, four other hits and walked four in 3 2-3 innings while not
factoring in the decision of a 6-3 loss at Minnesota. He was placed
on the disabled list two days later with shoulder strain.
Sanchez lasted 1 2-3 innings in a rehab start at Class A
Lakeland on Monday after he took a line drive off his left leg. The
Tigers were hoping Sanchez would throw at least 60 pitches, but his
shoulder felt fine and his leg is not expected to be a problem.
“It wasn’t near as many (pitches thrown) as we would’ve liked,”
Leyland told the Tigers’ official website. “But he felt great
(pitching-wise) and we expect him to start on Saturday.”
Sanchez has received an average 6.39 runs of support from his
teammates, who have totaled 31 runs and 45 hits over the last four
With three hits and two RBIs on Friday, ex-Indian Victor
Martinez is batting .431 with 21 RBIs in his last 17 games versus
Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera has hit .370 with 11 RBIs in his
last six at Progressive Field.
Not of that likely bodes well for scheduled Cleveland starter
Carlos Carrasco (0-3, 8.17), who gave up six runs and 10 hits over
four innings of a 6-4 loss at Detroit on June 8.
The right-hander will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus for the
second time in a week after he also yielded six runs and 10 hits,
this time over 5 2-3 innings, of a 9-8 victory in the nightcap of a
doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on June 28.
Carrasco, who missed all last season while recovering elbow
surgery, is 0-8 with an 8.04 ERA in his last 11 starts dating to
Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis has reached base safely in
36 consecutive games, and is batting .446 during a 16-game hitting
streak. He’s 3 for 9 with a double against Sanchez.