MINNEAPOLIS – Anibal Sanchez is having a hard time against American League hitters.
Making his fourth start for the Detroit Tigers since coming over from Miami in a trade, Sanchez took a grounder off his left knee in the first inning Monday night and gave up 12 hits in a 9-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
"We just got beat up," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Sanchez got the ball up and got hit hard. He's done that quite a bit since he's been here, gotten the ball up. He's not keeping the ball down well enough and he paid the price for that."
Darin Mastroianni and Ryan Doumit each homered and drove in three runs, Samuel Deduno pitched into the eighth inning and Minnesota snapped a four-game skid.
Sanchez (1-3) allowed five runs over 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander has an 8.41 ERA since being acquired from the Marlins on July 23.
"I tried to keep the ball down," Sanchez said. "That's the key for every pitcher.
"Today I felt much better than last time," he added. "But every contact they made, they found a home. It was just two big hits."
Sanchez was 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA in 19 starts for Miami before the trade.
"I certainly know that he's a better pitcher than he's shown so far," Leyland said.
Deduno (4-0) held Detroit hitless through four innings and retired nine of 10 batters before getting into trouble in the eighth. The 29-year-old right-hander struck out six and remained undefeated in seven career starts.
Doumit broke it open with a three-run homer off reliever Duane Below that made it 8-1 in the seventh. Joe Mauer added three hits to raise his average to .321.
"We got our butts kicked today. That's the best way I can put it," Tigers catcher Alex Avila said.
Miguel Cabrera got his 99th RBI for Detroit, which has lost three straight and five of six. The Tigers remained two games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
"I'm not worried about the standings right now as much as everybody else is," Leyland said. "Maybe I should be."
Mastroianni gave the Twins a 2-1 lead with a solo homer in the fifth. The soaring fly ball bounced off the top of the left-center wall — just over the glove of a leaping Andy Dirks — and into the stands.
It wasn't the only fortunate bounce the Twins got.
With runners on first and third and one run already home in the Detroit fifth, Dirks lined a pitch off Deduno's glove that ricocheted to second baseman Alexi Casilla, who caught it and doubled off Omar Infante at first to end the inning.
Detroit's offense, which had at least 10 hits in eight of 11 August games entering Monday, couldn't figure out Deduno's cutter and mixture of off-speed stuff until it was too late.
The Tigers could have had one more hit, but Mastroianni made a diving catch to rob Prince Fielder in the eighth.
Mostly an afterthought when the season started, Deduno has managed control issues to become an effective starter for the Twins.
Through seven innings, he allowed only one run on two hits and pitched around five walks.
"He was tough to pick up today and figure out," Avila said. "Normally you're able to get something out of those walks. But he had some nasty stuff and was kind of effectively wild today. We just couldn't square him up."
Deduno left to a standing ovation with two on and nobody out in the eighth. One of those runners eventually scored, bringing his final line to three runs on five hits over seven-plus innings.
"He was buckling some guys over on that side," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's not the norm for the Detroit Tigers. He was throwing some breaking balls, they were swinging and the ball was just disappearing. That tells you a lot about his stuff."
Minnesota's offense, which has been one of the AL's best since the All-Star break, pounded out 18 hits and didn't even need one from Trevor Plouffe.
Second on the team with 19 home runs, Plouffe had been sidelined since July 20. He returned from a bruised thumb and was the only Twins starter to go hitless.
It was the sixth time in seven games that the Tigers allowed double-digit hits and the third time this month they gave up 17 hits or more.
NOTES: Below was optioned to Triple-A Toledo after the game. Right-handed reliever Luke Putkonen will be recalled for his second stint with the Tigers. ... Leyland said an MRI on reliever Brayan Villarreal's sore right elbow revealed no damage. Villarreal wasn't available after pitching the previous two games, including Sunday's 8-3 loss to Texas in which he threw two wild pitches and said his elbow felt weak. ... Minnesota lefty Brian Duensing (2-7) faces Doug Fister (6-7) on Tuesday. Duensing allowed 11 hits and six runs in his last start, a 6-2 loss to Cleveland. Fister has won five of his last seven starts, pitching at least six innings in each outing.