Sanchez tagged in Tigers debut

Sanchez tagged in Tigers debut

Published Jul. 28, 2012 4:18 p.m. ET

Welcome to the American League, Anibal Sanchez.

In his Tigers debut, Sanchez gave up three homers in Toronto's 5-1 victory.

"I made some mistakes, and I paid for them," he told FOX Sports Detroit after the game. "I threw more balls than I usually do, and I need to get those pitches into the strike zone. That's all it was."

In all, Sanchez lasted six-plus innings, allowing five earned runs on eight hits.

With the score tied at 1, he gave up leadoff homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar in the fourth and sixth innings, then gave up up a two-run shot to Colby Rasmus on his last pitch of the game.

"I screwed that up," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told FSD. "I should have taken him out.

"I was going to leave him out there to get the first two guys and then bring in Villarreal, but I should have gotten him out of there after six innings."

Leyland was pleased with Sanchez's debut, despite the results.

"He's got a lot of weapons, and I like him a lot," he said. "He's going to win some games for us."

One thing that didn't change when Sanchez changed leagues was his lack of offensive support. Detroit got its only run on Brennan Boesch's RBI double in the fourth and didn't get a hit in the last five innings.

After taking over first place with a 6-1 homestand, Detroit is 1-4 on their current road trip and is averaging just three runs per game.

"We haven't been swinging the bats well again," Leyland said. "We're in another lull, but we'll break out of it."

Leyland didn't bite when asked if the Tigers were just hitting the ball hard in the wrong places.

"We had a few balls that were hit OK, but so did they," he said. "I don't buy in to that 'poor me' stuff about not getting a break. I don't buy that at all.

"We aren't swinging the bats well, and I'm not going to sugar-coat that. We need to do a better job of hitting the ball."

Detroit will have to do that Sunday to avoid being swept in Toronto and heading to Boston on a four-game losing streak.