Detroit, MI – Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Anibal Sanchez tossed seven innings of one-run ball as the Detroit Tigers held off the Kansas City Royals, 2-1, in the second of a four-game set on Friday.
Sanchez (6-3) allowed a run in the first inning but silenced KC after that, yielding just eight hits with three strikeouts to pick up the win. After dropping his first two decisions of the season, Sanchez has compiled a 6-1 record in 12 starts.
Austin Jackson had three of Detroit's five hits in the triumph. Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera drove in a run apiece, helping the Tigers win their fourth straight game.
"We like to believe we're just playing good baseball," Kinsler said. "Right now we're winning games and hopefully we can take that into the break and get ready for the second half."
Eric Hosmer went 3-for-4 and Salvador Perez collected two hits and an RBI for Kansas City, losers in five of seven. Danny Duffy (5-9) allowed two runs -- one earned -- on five hits over six frames to absorb the tough-luck loss.
"I battled, kind of fought myself there," said Duffy.
Jackson led off the game with a double to center, scoring on Kinsler's single up the middle. Duffy responded by striking out the side.
Kansas City also plated a run in the first, with Hosmer's two-out double to right setting up Perez's RBI single. Perez had been 0-for-12 lifetime against Sanchez.
Detroit went ahead for good in the third. Rajai Davis and Jackson singled to start the frame and both runners moved into scoring position on Duffy's third error of the season. Cabrera lifted a sac fly to right that plated Davis.
The Royals threatened in the top of the eighth, but a controversial call helped keep them off the scoreboard. Nori Aoki singled to start the frame, then stole second and advanced to third on an apparent throwing error from catcher Bryan Holaday, but home plate umpire Chad Fairchild immediately called batter's interference on Lorenzo Cain, negating the steal and forcing Aoki back to first.
Hosmer followed with a single to right that would have plated Aoki, instead putting two runners on with one out. Joba Chamberlain got Perez to fly to center and Billy Butler to line out to end the eighth.
Omar Infante singled and stole second against Joe Nathan in the ninth. Jarrod Dyson then drew a walk with one out, but Alcides Escobar went down swinging and Aoki grounded out, helping Nathan earn his 19th save of the season.
Detroit slugger Victor Martinez missed his sixth straight game with soreness in his right side. Prior to the game, Kinsler was named Martinez's replacement to represent the American League in next week's All-Star Game ... Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, ending his nine-game hit streak ... The Royals went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.