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Sanchez hopes to bounce back against Indians

Venezuelan right-hander Anibal Sanchez makes his second start since a trade to the American League tonight when the Detroit Tigers open a three-game series with the visiting Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.

A veteran of 133 appearances over parts of seven seasons with the Florida/Miami Marlins, Sanchez was sent to Detroit on July 23 with Omar Infante and a draft pick for two minor-leaguers, pitcher Jacob Turner and a draft pick.

He was 5-7 in 19 starts with the Marlins in 2012 while posting a 3.94 earned run average across 121 innings, then debuted with the Tigers with a 5-1 loss at Toronto on July 28 in which he gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings.

Sanchez's last win came July 17 at Wrigley Field, when he allowed a single earned run in seven innings of a 9-5 defeat of the Chicago Cubs.

He faced the Indians for the lone time in his career in an interleague matchup on May 19 in Cleveland and dropped a 2-0 decision after allowing seven hits and two runs - with a walk and two strikeouts - in seven innings.

Sanchez is opposed by Indians starter Justin Masterson, who's been a study in contrast in his last two starts.

He allowed a run on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings of a 3-1 defeat of Baltimore on July 23, then was ripped for 10 runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 12-5 loss at Minnesota five days later.

Masterson last faced the Tigers on May 24 in Cleveland and won a 2-1 decision to improve to 1-4 against Detroit in 11 career matchups.

He's 3-5 in 10 road starts in 2012 with a 6.05 ERA.

On Thursday in Kansas City, Alcides Escobar drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Indians with a 7-6 win at Kauffman Stadium.

Eric Hosmer got the rally started with a single leading off the frame, moved to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt from Chris Getz and took third on a wild pitch by Indians pitcher Esmil Rodgers (1-1).

Alex Gordon was intentionally walked to put runners on the corners for Escobar against Cleveland closer Chris Perez.

Perez took control early in the at-bat, getting Escobar to swing over two sliders to move the count to 0-2. But Escobar stayed composed and slapped a 1-2 fastball through the left side of the infield for his first career walk- off hit.

Carlos Santana ripped a two-run long ball and finished with four RBI, while Michael Brantley and Vinny Rottino also knocked in runs for the Tribe, who have dropped their last six games.

On Wednesday in Boston, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder crushed back-to-back home runs as part of a five-run fifth inning and the Tigers held off the Red Sox, 7-5, in the finale of a three-game set at Fenway Park.

Cabrera's 26th homer of the season was a two-run shot, while Fielder followed with his 17th of the year to help the Tigers salvage the final game of the series and wrap up a nine-game road trip at 3-6.

"That's huge, obviously," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They're pretty good at doing what they do."

Rick Porcello (8-6) surrendered four runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts over 5 2/3 frames to earn the victory, while Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth to secure his 21st save of the season.

The Indians have won seven of nine games between the teams in 2012, including a three-game sweep from May 22-24 in Cleveland.

The Tigers won the 2011 season series, 12 games to six.