Sanchez searching for answers after shelling in Tigers' loss

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Anibal Sanchez has had bad outings before, but never like this one Saturday.

By the time he was removed from the game with one out in the fourth inning, he'd been tagged for nine runs and nine hits and the White Sox were on their way to a 12-3 rout of a Tigers team that had allowed only one run in the previous three games.

"I know that I'm not the kind of pitcher that just goes out there and doesn't care what happens," Sanchez said. "I care and I'm really frustrated right now. Like I say, tomorrow is another day. I am going to just put my face up and continue working."

Box score: White Sox 12, Tigers 3

It was the most runs Sanchez has ever allowed in any one outing and he continues to get hurt by the home run ball. He gave up a three-run shot to Adam LaRoche in the second inning and a grand slam to Jose Abreu in the fourth.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm not going to try to allow any kind of homers. I'm just going there, try to execute a pitch, help the team to win…I don't know what's going on right now. I need to figure it out."

Sanchez, who gave up three home runs in his previous start in Pittsburgh, has allowed five home runs in 16.1 innings. He allowed four home runs total in 21 starts last season.

"What do you say all the time when you miss or you don't change your location or sequence, you pay for it," he said. "Today is one of those games, I thought I made a really good pitch against a couple hitters, ground balls, base hit, a couple guys hit it hard, a couple homers.

"They take advantage of all my mistakes today."

LaRoche appeared to hit a pretty good pitch for his home run. Abreu tagged a center-cut hanging slider.

"Just the balls up again, same thing in Pittsburgh," manager Brad Ausmus. "He has the ability to pitch up at times, but there's that fine line between pitching above the batter's bat and pitching at the batter's bat.

"If they're a tick higher he'd probably get the popups like he did earlier in the game."

Sanchez said he feels completely fine physically and Ausmus said he doesn't think low velocity is an issue.

"I saw 92s, 93s," Ausmus said of Sanchez's fastball velocity. "There's a difference between his two-seam and his four-seam. His two-seam's going to be 90, 89, 91, and his four-seam's probably going to be 92, 93 or higher."

Sanchez in his last two starts allowed 14 runs and 14 hits. He's never before allowed 14 runs over two starts in his career.

"I know bad games happen and today is one of those," Sanchez said. "Like I say, I'd rather it happen earlier than late. But in the end, it's baseball. Early, they take a lot of advantage of my mistakes that I threw today.

"But I thank God I am healthy and I'll come tomorrow and figure out what's going on, figure out what happened, figure out if I was trouble with my sequence, trouble with my mechanics, trouble with my location. Something happened and for sure I want to work on that."

While he's at it, he might want to figure out why Melky Cabrera seems to own him. Cabrera posted two singles and a double, making him 14 for 27 lifetime against Sanchez.

Left-hander Blaine Hardy didn't fare any better. He was greeted three straight hits and a run before he got out of the fourth – making it a seven-run inning for a White Sox team that had scored just three the two previous games combined.

Abreu wound up a triple shy of the cycle and knocked in four. LaRoche, who came in hitting .179, also had a single, double and homer. He knocked in four, as well.

It was far more run support than White Sox ace Chris Sale would need — maybe more than he would need in four starts. He went six innings and allowed two runs and four hits.

"That many runs really takes the pressure off," Sale said. "You still have to go out there and go through it but it makes a difference. I don't think I've ever seen 12 runs before."

Miguel Cabrera, who turned 32 Saturday, had an RBI single in the first. And J.D. Martinez hit his fifth home run.

The Tigers got the third run in the eighth off reliever Kyle Drabek, an RBI single by Nick Castellanos, who was pinch-hitting for Victor Martinez.

"You have games like this every year," Ausmus said. "Mom told me there'd be days like this."

Chris McCosky on Twitter @cmccosky