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Tigers send Sanchez to hill in opener with O's

(SportsNetwork.com) - After receiving an extra day of rest due to a rainout, Anibal Sanchez is ready to begin his 2014 season when the Detroit Tigers start a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Sanchez was supposed to start Thursday's series finale against the Royals at Comerica Park, but the contest was washed out. Friday's game is also in question due to rain in the forecast.

Sanchez is coming off a career year for the Tigers that saw him lead the American League with a 2.57 ERA, while going 14-8. He also topped 200 strikeouts, as he matched his career-high from 2011 with 202 punchouts.

However, the talented right-hander has been slowed this spring with inflammation in his throwing shoulder and hasn't faced big league hitters since March 12.

Sanchez won his only lifetime start against the Orioles.

Detroit won in walkoff fashion for the second time in as many games on Wednesday, as Ian Kinsler singled home Austin Jackson in the 10th inning to lift the Tigers to a 2-1 win.

The Orioles will counter with Miguel Gonzalez, who went 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA in 30 games (28 starts) last season for Baltimore. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two lifetime starts against the Tigers.

If Friday's game is postponed and a doubleheader is necessitated for Saturday, the Orioles could go with right-handed prospect Kevin Gausman. He would be used under MLB's 26th man rule.

On Thursday, David Ortiz had three hits and an RBI as the Red Sox clinched the series victory with a 4-3 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Matt Wieters was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and Delmon Young also drove in a run for the Orioles, who saw starter Wei-Yin Chen (0-1) give up four runs on 12 hits with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

The Orioles won four of the six meetings against the Tigers last season.