Tigers shut out Twins again behind Sanchez

Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Ian Kinsler had two hits and drove in four runs and Anibal Sanchez tossed 6 2/3 strong innings to lead the Detroit Tigers over the Minnesota Twins 11-0 on Wednesday at Comerica Park.

Sanchez (1-0) allowed just three hits, struck out six and walked two for the Tigers, who have won the first two games of this season-opening, three-game set, both by shutout.

The right-hander combined with four relievers on the four-hit shutout, marking the first time in franchise history the Tigers have opened the season with consecutive shutouts.

"These guys have a chance to be a productive offense, but you come out the first two days and put up 18 zeroes and it's a little frustrating," said new Twins manager Paul Molitor.

Alex Avila and Jose Iglesias, the Tigers' bottom two hitters in the lineup, went a combined 5-for-5, reaching base nine times with seven runs scored. Avila had one hit and was walked three times, while Iglesias was 4-for-4 with walk and a double.

Kinsler, Anthony Gose and Miguel Cabrera benefited from their production. In addition to Kinsler, Gose had three hits and drove in three runs, while Cabrera had two hits and drove in a pair for Detroit, which has outscored the Twins 15-0 through two games.

"Between the hits and walks, it fueled our offense," said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus, who was the last Tigers catcher before Avila to score four runs in one game, doing it in 2000.

Minnesota's offense, meanwhile, continues to be cold. The Twins have just nine hits and have struck out 15 times through 18 innings this season with only one extra-base hit, a sixth-inning double by Jordan Schafer in this game.

Minnesota starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (0-1) lasted just three-plus innings and was charged with six runs on six hits, striking out two and walking four.

The Tigers got to Nolasco for three runs in the third inning thanks to Kinsler, who drove in the first two runs with a base hit and then scored from first on Cabrera's double.

Nolasco was forced from the game in the fourth. With Avila and Iglesias on base, Gose tripled to right to score both. Kinsler then greeted reliever Tim Stauffer with a double to center to chase home Gose and advanced to third when center fielder Jordan Schafer let the ball go under his glove and to the wall for a 6-0 cushion.

Kinsler later scored the final run of the fourth inning when Stauffer uncorked a wild pitch.

Detroit added two more runs in the fifth when Avila scored on a Kinsler sac fly and Iglesias scored on a Cabrera base hit.

The Tigers made it 10-0 in the seventh when Gose doubled home Avila, who had earlier singled and moved to second on an Iglesias base hit. Then, in the eighth, James McCann, batting for Avila, drove in the 11th run of the game for Detroit.

Game Notes

Prior to the game, the Tigers placed starting pitcher Justin Verlander on the 15-day disabled list due to a right triceps strain, retroactive to March 29 ... The Tigers recalled pitcher Kyle Lobstein and he is tentatively scheduled to start on Sunday, April 12 at Cleveland ... Sanchez improved to 4-0, allowing just 16 earned runs over 55 2/3 innings with 42 strikeouts in his season debuts over his career... Torii Hunter tied Bob Allison for ninth on the Twins all-time list in games played (1,236) ... Thursday's series finale will see Minnesota's Kyle Gibson face Detroit's Shane Greene.