Live Tigers blog: Big inning sends Tigers to 6-2 loss

Al Willman
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez works in the first inning.

Anibal Sanchez was dealing in Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Twins.

However, Bruce Rondon wasn't.

Sanchez struck out a career-high 10, and left in the top of the seventh with two on and a 1-0 deficit. Rondon replaced him, and allowed his two inherited batters to score, and three more as the Twins scored five times in the inning, to take a 6-0 lead.

The Tigers (49-45) got on the board in the bottom of the ninth. Against Twins starter Tommy Milone -- who was dealing, too -- Cameron Maybin and Miguel Cabrera singled to lead off the inning, before Victor Martinez scored Cabrera on a single. Nick Castellanos hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Maybin and cutting the deficit to 6-2. Milone gave way to Brandon Kintzler, who gave up a single to Justin Upton before a Mike Aviles infield single loaded the bases. James McCann struck out swinging, for the second out. Jose Iglesias struck out looking to end the threat, and the game.

Sanchez went six-plus innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out 10 and walking two.

Milone went 8 1/3 innings for the Twins (34-59), giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out four and walking two.

The two teams complete their three-game set tomorrow. First pitch is set for 1:10. Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.91 ERA) will pitch for the Tigers, while Ervin Santana (3-8, 4.12 ERA) will go for the Twins.

Top 9th: Lowe sets Twins down 1-2-3

Right-hander Mark Lowe -- the fourth reliever of the night for the Tigers -- worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out Eduardo Nunez and Robbie Grossman. Down to their last three outs, the Tigers trail 6-0. They'll send Cameron Maybin, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to bat in the bottom of the ninth.

Bottom 8th: Tigers go in order

Twins starter Tommy Milone worked a perfect eighth inning, preserving his shutout of the Tigers. James McCann struck out looking, before Jose Iglesias popped out to Milone -- still on the pitcher's mound -- and Ian Kinsler flew out to right field. After eight, the Twins lead 6-0.

Top 8th: Ryan works perfect inning

Tigers left-handed reliever Kyle Ryan entered the game in the top of the eighth inning, replacing Alex Wilson -- who threw three pitches to get out of the seventh -- and set the Twins down 1-2-3. Going to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers remain down 6-0.

Bottom 7th: Tigers offense still missing

The Tigers got a baserunner in the bottom of the seventh inning -- after a Victor Martinez walk -- but were unable to capitalize further. Nick Castellanos lined out on a hard-hit ball to short stop, before Justin Upton flew out to the warning track in center field. Mike Aviles then struck out to end the inning. After seven, the Tigers trail 6-0.

Top 7th: Sanchez departs, Twins explode

The Twins broke the game open in the top of the seventh inning. After walking Kennys Vargas and giving up a single to Kurt Suzuki, Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was pulled -- giving way to right-hander Bruce Rondon. Byron Buxton advanced both on a sacrifice bunt. Eduardo Nunez followed with a two-run single, adding to Minnesota's lead. Both runs were charged to Sanchez. Joe Mauer then singled in Nunez with two outs. The trouble didn't stop there, as Brian Dozier smacked a two-run home run over the wall in left. Going to the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers trail 6-0.

Sanchez went six-plus innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out 10 and walking two. Rondon went 2/3 of an inning, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out one.

Bottom 6th: Milone still stymies Tigers

The Tigers have been unable to muster much offense -- or any runs -- against Twins starter Tommy Milone, who set them down 1-2-3 for the third time tonight. Anibal Sanchez -- who has been throwing a great game for the Tigers -- takes the mound down 1-0 in the top of the seventh.

Top 6th: Sanchez strikes out side, again

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez is dealing. He struck out the side -- for the second time -- in the top of the sixth inning. Sanchez has 10 strikeouts -- a season high -- through six, but can't seem to get any help offensively. Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers trail 1-0.

Bottom 5th: Still no run support for Sanchez

The Tigers are still having trouble getting starter Anibal Sanchez some runs to work with. Justin Upton walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning, and moved to second on a bunt fielder's choice by Mike Aviles. However, Upton would stay there, as the next two Tigers were retired. Sanchez is on the mound, still trailing 1-0, in the top of the sixth.

Top 5th: Sanchez fans side

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez -- despite allowing a run in the third inning -- is having a really good game. He set the Twins down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth, striking out the side in the process. Through five innings, Sanchez has seven strikeouts. The Tigers trail 1-0 going to the bottom of the fifth.

Bottom 4th: Tigers offense remains quiet

Twins starter Tommy Milone worked quickly in the bottom of the fourth inning, retiring the Tigers in order. Miguel Cabrera grounded out to first baseman Joe Mauer -- who made a great play to get the out. After that, Victor Martinez lined out to shortstop Eduardo Nunez before Nick Castellanos grounded to Nunez to end the inning. After four, the Twins maintain a 1-0 lead.

Top 4th: Sanchez leaves two on

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez escaped trouble in the top of the fourth, after allowing a pair of Twins to reach. With one out, Miguel Sano doubled over the head of Mike Aviles in right field -- on a ball that was entirely catchable -- and Max Kepler walked, putting runners at first and second. Both runners advanced on a Kennys Vargas groundout, and were stranded when Kurt Suzuki flew out. Going to the bottom of the fourth, the Twins are still up 1-0.

Bottom 3rd: Tigers strand leadoff single

The Tigers offense couldn't get rolling in the bottom of the third inning. James McCann led off with a single, but was stranded as Jose Iglesias flew out, Ian Kinsler struck out and Cameron Maybin grounded out. Anibal Sanchez will take the mound in the top of the fourth, down 1-0.

Top 3rd: Twins get to Sanchez

The Twins got to Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez in the top of the third inning. Kurt Suzuki singled -- ending the streak of six straight batters retired by Sanchez since the bunt single from Eduardo Nunez to lead off the game. Suzuki advanced to third on a single by Byron Buxton, and scored on a Nunez sacrifice fly. Robbie Grossman extended the inning for the Twins, with a two-out infield single -- which advanced Buxton to third. Joe Mauer grounded to shortstop Jose Iglesias to end the threat. Going to the bottom of the third, the Twins lead 1-0.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers go 1-2-3

For the second time in as many nights, it looks like a pitchers' duel is in the works. Twins starter Tommy Milone set the Tigers down in order in the bottom of the second inning, on a strikeout to Nick Castellanos, and ground outs by Justin Upton and Mike Aviles. After two innings, the game is tied, 0-0.

Top 2nd: Sanchez fans pair

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez set the Twins down in order in the top of the second inning. He struck out Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano, before getting Max Kepler to ground out. Going to the bottom of the second, the game remains scoreless.

Bottom 1st: Tigers threaten, don't score

With one out in the bottom of the first inning, the Tigers put a runner in scoring position -- on some heads up baserunning. Cameron Maybin hit a pop-fly to right field, where Max Kepler couldn't make the catch for the Twins. Maybin was going all the way, reaching second base safely. The next batter, Miguel Cabrera, grounded out to first -- advancing Maybin to third, where he would be stranded. Victor Martinez grounded out to end the inning. After one, the game is scoreless.

Top 1st: Sanchez works scoreless first

The Tigers defense kept the Twins scoreless in the top of the first inning. Starter Anibal Sanchez allowed the leadoff hitter, Eduardo Nunez, to reach on a bunt single. With Robbie Grossman at the plate, he was thrown out at second base attempting to steal. Twins manager Paul Molitor asked -- after a fairly long delay -- for a review, but the call stood. Grossman then struck out. Joe Mauer grounded out to third baseman Nick Castellanos to end the half inning.

How to watch: Tigers vs. Twins

The Tigers look to continue their success against the Twins tonight.

Detroit beat Minnesota for the seventh straight time last night with a 1-0 victory at Comerica Park.

Matt Boyd allowed three hits in six innings to hand the last-place Twins another loss just hours after they announced the firing of general manager Terry Ryan.

Justin Upton homered in the second to back Boyd (1-2), who struck out seven with one walk.

Three relievers finished for the Tigers, with Francisco Rodriguez pitching a hitless ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances.

“We’ve been struggling offensively coming out of the break, and that didn’t change,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We had a lot of trouble with Boyd’s offspeed pitches.”

Upton’s homer was his 200th career home run.

“It’s definitely cool to reach that milestone,” Upton said. “I hope that’s not the last milestone I reach.”

Chris McCosky's game story

K-Rod's change-up creates stress-free saves

Photos: Tigers 1, Twins 0

Zimmermann OK after 25-pitch session

Lynn Henning's column on Brandon Inge

Right-hander Anibal Sanchez will start for the Tigers tonight. He's spent time between the starting rotation and bullpen this year. He's 3-9 with a 7.46 ERA in his 14 starts.

The Twins will go with left-hander Tommy Milone. He allowed 15 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings before being sent to Triple-A Rochester. He's 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts since returning June 18.


1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Cameron Maybin, CF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Justin Upton, LF

7. Mike Aviles, RF

8. James McCann, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Anibal Sanchez


1. Eduardo Nunez, SS

2. Robbie Grossman, LF

3. Joe Mauer, 1B

4. Brian Dozier, 2B

5. Miguel Sano, 3B

6. Max Kepler, RF

7. Kennys Vargas, DH

8. Kurt Suzuki, C

9. Byron Buxton, CF

Tommy Milone


When: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park, Detroit

Pitching matchup: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-10, 6.75) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (2-2, 5.23)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: None

Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)

Local radio: 97.1-FM

Satellite radio: SIRI 214 (SIRI Internet 849)