Sanchez strong, but Tigers’ rally in 9th falls short

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News

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.

BOX SCORE: Athletics 3, Tigers 2

Romine would have been happy to score a third and tying had his mates cooperated.

But no.

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.