Justin Verlander gave the Detroit Tigers exactly what they expected in Monday's season opener against the Minnesota Twins.
Now, they hope right-hander Anibal Sanchez can deliver a similar effort when the Tigers play the middle test of their three-game set with the Twins at Target Field.
Sanchez came to Detroit in a July 23 trade with the Miami Marlins and was inconsistent, going 4-6 with a 3.74 earned run average in 12 regular-season starts. However, he shined for them in the postseason, as he compiled a 1.77 ERA, but was 1-2 in three playoff outings.
A free agent at season's end, the Tigers kept him in the mix with a 5-year, $80 million deal.
"Anibal pitched tremendously for us down the stretch and during the postseason," Tigers president and general manager David Dombrowski said at the time. "He strengthens our starting rotation and we are pleased to have him back with the Tigers organization."
Sanchez will be trying to help the Tigers start 2-0 after Verlander delivered a solid effort despite some pretty adverse conditions in his first start since agreeing to his 5-year, $140 million extension. Verlander scattered three hits and struck out seven over five scoreless frames in the Tigers' 4-2 win.
The game-time temperature peaked at 35 degrees and winds reached as high 17 mph throughout the contest.
"When I was warming up in the sun, I was like, 'I could have come out in short sleeves. This isn't that bad.' As soon as the shade set in, it was a totally different ball game. It was miserable," Verlander said.
Prince Fielder and Omar Infante each had two hits and an RBI in the win, while Torii Hunter also had a pair of hits in his debut for the Tigers.
Ryan Doumit had an RBI and Trevor Plouffe scored on a wild pitch for the Twins, while Vance Worley allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out three over six innings to absorb the loss.
"We did some good things out there. It was a fun ballgame. Unfortunately we didn't come up with one more big hit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Getting the call for the Twins on Wednesday will be righty Kevin Correia, who will be making his American League debut.
Correia, an All-Star in 2011, spent the previous two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, managing 12-11 records each year while his earned run average dropped from 4.79 to 4.21 in 2012.
The Tigers won the season series with the Twins last year, 10-8.