Anibal Sanchez eyes his fifth straight winning decision on Wednesday when the Detroit Tigers play the middle test of a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.
Sanchez won his second straight start and improved to 4-1 since the All-Star break on Thursday against Kansas City, as he held the Royals to a run and seven hits over 7 1/3 frames to run his record to 11-7 overall, while lowering his ERA to 2.50.
"That's what I try to do," Sanchez said. "I try get my focus and make my adjustments when I need it. Sometimes I start the game, like today, when my balls aren't going for strikes, even my sinker didn't work and I have to do something. I checked my video and I was slow at the beginning of the game. And after that I made my moves and made some movements on the pitch, and I was able to get ahead in the count."
While pitching in virtual obscurity amongst Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Sanchez has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past month, pitching to a league-best 1.54 ERA over his past six starts.
Sanchez owns a 1.90 ERA in three starts against the Twins this season, but is 1-2 lifetime versus them with a 2.80 ERA in six starts.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with righty Kevin Correia, who has lost three of last four decisions. Correia lost to Chicago on Friday, as the White Sox reached him for five runs (4 earned) and nine hits in 7 1/3 innings to drop him to 8-9 to go along with a 4.61 ERA.
Correia is 1-1 in four starts versus the Tigers with a 3.16 ERA.
Minnesota jumped out in front of this series on Tuesday, as Justin Morneau drove in four runs to pace the Twins to a 6-3 win. Morneau went 4-for-5 and had a two-run homer in the fourth inning for Minnesota, which snapped its four-game losing streak.
"It was one of those days where Morneau got us," Tigers catcher Brayan Pena said. "He had a great game."
The Twins won the game despite not having Joe Mauer in the lineup. Minnesota's leader in hits and batting average had dizziness during batting practice and was a late scratch. He is questionable for tonight's tilt.
Mike Pelfrey (5-10) picked up his first victory since July 6. The right-hander returned to the win column after tossing 6 2/3 innings and surrendering three runs on seven hits.
Prince Fielder had a solo home run and an RBI groundout for the Tigers, who had a modest two-game winning streak stopped.
The Tigers started Rick Porcello (9-7), who picked up his first loss since June 30. He only lasted 4 1/3 innings, in which he allowed five runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Detroit is 8-6 against the Twins this season.