Anibal Sanchez hopes to snap a personal two-game losing streak on Wednesday when the Detroit Tigers continue a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park.
Sanchez has not panned out for the Tigers since being acquired from Miami prior to the trade deadline. The righty is just 1-3 in four starts since coming to Detroit and has pitched to a 7.97 ERA.
"(I told him), 'Don't press,'" Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones told the team's website. "'Don't try to do more than what you can.' I told him yesterday, 'You're going to be huge for us down the stretch. You've been successful, and you're going to be successful again.'"
Sanchez's latest loss came on Aug. 13 in Minnesota, as the Twins reached him for five runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Overall, he is 6-10 with a 4.52 ERA.
"He's not keeping the ball down well enough," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I certainly know that he's a better pitcher than he's shown so far."
Sanchez lost to Toronto in his first start with the Tigers and is 0-2 in two starts against them and has surrendered 11 runs in 9 1/3 innings.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Aaron Laffey, who is 3-4 with a 4.70 ERA. Laffey lost for the third time in four starts on Thursday against the Chicago White Sox, as he allowed three runs and four hits - 3 home runs - in six innings.
He has allowed eight homers over his last five starts while going 1-3 with a 7.39 ERA.
"I just worry about myself and in the end, go back and take the positives from (the last) game," Laffey said. "Obviously, the three mistakes (Thursday) that I made, there's nothing you can really do about those, you can't take them back. So, just move on."
Laffey has faced the Tigers eight times (4 starts) and is 0-2 with a 3.58 ERA.
Detroit drew first blood in Tuesday's opener, as Max Scherzer tossed seven effective innings and the Tigers offense took advantage of Ricky Romero's wildness to earn a 5-3 victory.
The only costly mistake made by Scherzer (13-6) came in the sixth when he served up a solo homer to Edwin Encarnacion. The right-hander was otherwise stellar, allowing just four more hits and two walks while fanning eight.
Omar Infante drove in a pair for Detroit, which survived a shaky effort from its bullpen to snap a two-game losing streak. The Tigers still trail the Chicago White Sox by two games in the AL Central.
Romero (8-11) walked eight in only 5 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs and seven hits in Toronto's third straight loss.
"I feel like I'm the one that lost the game," Romero said. "It's baffling. It's tough. I don't know how to put it. It's just been a frustrating year."
Detroit has split its four matchups with the Blue Jays this season.