Tigers' Sanchez will be available out of 'pen in Game 3

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Will you be available to pitch in Game 3?

The question was posed to Anibal Sanchez, who has been the only Tigers' reliever to have success against the Orioles thus far in the American League Division Series.

"Tell them yes," reliever Joba Chamberlain said, from a neighboring locker.

"Yes," Sanchez complied.

Manager Brad Ausmus confirmed it, but Sanchez never thought there was any doubt.

"Tomorrow is another day," he said. "Of course I'm going to be available to pitch. I feel really good."

Sanchez, who has pitched exactly three innings now since Aug. 9, including two scoreless innings in Game 2 Friday, is still on a pitch count. He threw 30 pitches in Game 2. He doesn't know if that will increase if he's needed in Game 3 and Ausmus is not saying.

"Probably about 10 days ago you asked me how Sanchez was going to be used," Ausmus said. "And I told you I wouldn't be afraid to use him in a tight game and he could pitch one inning and probably two. So, I've said that for a week and a half."

Sanchez, a starting pitcher by trade, said he feels acclimated now to his bullpen role in terms of when to start getting loose and how long his arm needs to recover between outings.

"Now I am in the bullpen, so I just need to get ready all the time," he said. "If they need me, I am going to do my job."

Sanchez, who would take some two hours to prepare for a start, now begins his warm-up process in the fifth inning, regardless of what's happening in the game.

"I just warm up one time," he said. "I just try to get loose in the fifth inning every day. It's not like they call me and let me know to get loose. I just get loose, keep stretching and wait for the call."