Resurgent Sanchez shuts out Reds, Tigers win 6-0
DETROIT (AP) If Anibal Sanchez is indeed turning his season around, Detroit's starting rotation suddenly looks a lot more imposing.
Sanchez was outstanding for a second straight start, throwing a two-hit shutout to lift the Tigers to a 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. Detroit has won six of eight after an eight-game losing streak that dropped the Tigers to .500.
The Tigers' starters haven't been as intimidating as in years past, but Detroit recently got Justin Verlander back from the disabled list, and Sanchez did not allow a base runner after the fourth inning Monday.
''Getting Ver, I think, was a big boost,'' manager Brad Ausmus said. ''If we have the Anibal Sanchez we were hoping to see the rest of the way, then I think our starting rotation is very strong.''
Sanchez (5-7) struck out seven without a walk. The right-hander did not get off to a good start this season, but his past two outings have been a major step in the right direction. He held the Chicago Cubs scoreless for 7 2-3 innings last Tuesday, and Monday's effort lowered his ERA to 4.65.
Cincinnati starter Jon Moscot had to leave the game in the first after dislocating his non-throwing shoulder while tagging out a runner. Pedro Villarreal (0-1) pitched 3 1-3 innings of relief and kept the Reds in the game, but Detroit scored four in the sixth off Nate Adcock.
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run double and J.D. Martinez added a two-run homer in that inning.
Detroit is still in third place in the AL Central, but an effective Sanchez would be a big help as the Tigers try to win their fifth straight division crown. The Reds managed only two singles off Sanchez, who threw 112 pitches and faced one batter over the minimum.
It was the seventh shutout of Sanchez's career, but his first complete game since May 24, 2013, when he had a no-hit bid broken up in the ninth inning against Minnesota.
''I think right now more important is the team wins,'' Sanchez said. ''It's not about my career or if I threw a complete game last year or two years ago. I think the more important thing is I feel really good, I'm healthy, and I'm going to continue to battle.''
Moscot was making his third career start when Cabrera hit a comebacker with one out in the first. The right-hander caught Anthony Gose between second and third, and he chased the Detroit runner all the way back to second before diving forward to tag him. Moscot was slow getting up and had to leave the game.
''I've been a part of a season here or there where we've had a lot of injuries, but never anything like this back-to-back seasons,'' Reds manager Bryan Price said. ''He does everything right, freezes the runner and even makes a diving tag, and now he's going to be out for a while. That's really tough to see.''
The Tigers opened the scoring with an unearned run in the fourth. Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-out double over Brennan Boesch's head in left. Then Martinez hit a grounder to third that Todd Frazier threw away. The play was scored a single and an error, and Cespedes scored.
After the Tigers added four runs in the sixth, Cespedes hit an RBI single in the seventh to make it 6-0.
Reds C Tucker Barnhart was on deck when Eugenio Suarez fouled a pitch back and hit him. Barnhart was unhurt.
''I'm lucky it hit me in the chest - I didn't have a chance on that one,'' Barnhart said. ''I'll have a bruise, but that's it.''
Former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr's grandson Chad was honored before the game at the ceremonial first pitch. He has been fighting a pediatric brain tumor.
Reds: Moscot's injury came on the same day Cincinnati put LHP Tony Cingrani on the DL with a strained left shoulder. That move was retroactive to Sunday. Reds SS Zack Cozart had surgery Monday on his right knee. His rehab is expected to begin Tuesday and will take approximately seven to nine months.
Tigers: Detroit reinstated RP Bruce Rondon (bicipital tendinitis) from the DL and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo.
Detroit LHP Kyle Ryan (1-0) faces Cincinnati RHP Michael Lorenzen (1-2) on Tuesday night.