Sanchez strong, but Tigers’ rally in 9th falls short
Detroit — These late-summer games are becoming routine for the Tigers.
Routinely a tease.
They had another of their ninth-inning rallies Wednesday at Comerica Park, scrambling for a pair of runs, all before losing, 3-2, for their 10th defeat in the past 12 games.
With the A’s en route to what seemed an easy series sweep, the Tigers got a leadoff walk in the ninth from Efren Navarro, who romped to third on Mikie Mahtook’s double. Both runners scored on Andrew Romine’s hard single to right.
Romine would have been happy to score a third and tying had his mates cooperated.
Jose Iglesias followed with a slow ground ball to short that got Romine at second. Then, after a wild pitch sent Iglesias to second, Alex Presley struck out.
Anibal Sanchez’s pitching was one spot of solace for a team that now sits at 62-90 with 10 games remaining in 2017.
Sanchez pitched six innings, allowed three hits and a lone run, while striking out eight and walking three.
The only dent came in the second when Bruce Maxwell drove a pitch over Nicholas Castellanos’ glove in right field for a double. Maxwell scored on Marcus Semien’s follow-up double.
The Tigers out-hit the A’s, nine to six, but their only extra-bases poke apart from Mahtook’s double came in the first when Jeimer Candelario drove a double against the right-center field wall.
Candelario later added a single, which was as much as the Tigers got from seven additional batters.
Daniel Stumpf pitched the seventh and was socked for a long, two-run homer into the left-field bleachers by Semien.
Joe Jimenez pitched the eighth and looked very good: two strikeouts on two final-strike fastballs of 96 and 95 mph. Zac Reininger put away the A’s in the ninth.
The Tigers will begin a four-game series Thursday night against the Twins — their final home games of 2017.