Sanchez aims to bounce back as Tigers take on Twins

10:44 AM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Anibal Sanchez tries to bounce back from one of the worst starts of his career on Friday when the Detroit Tigers continue their four- game series with the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.

Sanchez lost for the third time in four starts on Saturday in Texas, as the Rangers torched him for six runs (5 earned) and nine hits in just 2 2/3 innings, dropping him to 4-4 to go along with a 2.77 ERA.

It marked the third-shortest start of his career and his shortest outing since Aug. 10, 2011.

"I didn't have good command. That was the problem," Sanchez said. "My fastball was up. My change-up didn't move too much. My breaking ball, I threw it for strikes, but it wasn't in the right locations. It was just a bad outing. That's part of the game."

Sanchez lost to the Twins earlier in the year and is 0-2 in four starts against them with a 3.57 ERA.

Minnesota, meanwhile, will turn to righty Samuel Deduno, who will be making his first appearance of the year. Deduno started 15 games last year for the Twins and was 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA.

Deduno, who is 1-1 with a 9.64 ERA in two starts against the Tigers, posted a 2.70 ERA in three minor league starts after opening the year sidelined from a strained groin he suffered at the World Baseball Classic. He was terrific at the WBC, posting a 2-0 mark to go along with a 0.69 ERA in three starts.

"He's been throwing good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Wednesday. "We saw him for the (World Baseball Classic) games and he got hurt, but he's back out there striking people out. You're going to get a guy who puts some fear in people's hearts. He can wing it and snap off some stuff. I don't think he's afraid of going against the big boys in Detroit."

Detroit drew first blood in this series on Thursday, as Prince Fielder drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to lift the Tigers past the Twins, 7-6.

With one out in the inning and runners on first and second, Fielder hit an infield single off Jared Burton (0-2), scoring Omar Infante, who singled to begin the frame.

Miguel Cabrera had a two-run home run and drove in three while Fielder drove in two runs for the Tigers, who have won three straight.

Cabrera is now hitting .391, and is batting .486 during a nine-game hitting streak. He's also hit six homers and driven in 13 runs over his last four games.

Detroit starter Rick Porcello surrendered five runs on 10 hits and a walk in five frames. Joaquin Benoit (1-0) pitched a flawless eighth and Jose Valverde was perfect in the ninth to notch his fifth save.

Josh Willingham had two home runs and four RBI while Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier drove in a run apiece for the Twins, who have lost nine straight games. Starter Scott Diamond gave up three runs on nine hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings.

Detroit has won four of seven from the Twins this season.

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