Venezuelan-born right-hander Anibal Sanchez takes the ball Monday as the Detroit Tigers hit the road to meet the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game series at Progressive Field.
The Tigers enter the set with a three-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central, helped by a win streak that stretched to eight games on Sunday when Torii Hunter's RBI single in the 12th inning lifted the Tigers to a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox to complete a three-game sweep at Comerica Park.
Miguel Cabrera, who sat out with a sore left hip, opened the frame with a pinch-hit single. Matt Tuiasosopo replaced the hobbled Cabrera on the bases and quickly advanced to second on Austin Jackson's sacrifice bunt. Hunter followed with a line drive base hit to left-center to plate the game-winning run.
Hunter, who entered the game in the 10th as a pinch-hitter, finished 2-for-2, while Alex Avila and Ramon Santiago added an RBI apiece for the Tigers, who went 8-0 on their eight-game homestand.
Bruce Rondon (1-1) earned the win after spinning a pair of scoreless innings. Starter Rick Porcello had one of his strongest outings of the season, allowing just one run on eight hits over 7 2/3 innings.
The Tigers learned Monday that shortstop Jhonny Peralta will serve a 50-game suspension for his ties with the Biogenesis scandal. Peralta was one of 12 players disciplined for being involved with Biogenesis of America, a Miami- area based anti-aging clinic suspected of distributing performance-enhancing substances.
Peralta hit .305 with 11 home runs and 54 RBI in 104 games.
Sanchez, who was 9-13 while splitting last season between the Tigers and Miami Marlins, equaled that win total in his last start on July 30 against Washington, allowing a single run on five hits in seven innings of a 5-1 victory.
He was 4-4 for 2013 after dropping a 7-2 decision at Texas on May 18, but has since won five of eight decisions while trimming his earned run average from 2.77 to 2.59.
He last faced Cleveland on July 6 at Progressive Field and emerged a 9-4 winner after allowing three hits and a run in five innings while striking out five batters.
In five career meetings with the Indians, he's 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA.
On Sunday in Miami, Scott Kazmir tossed six shutout innings in the Indians' 2-0 win over the Marlins in the finale of a three-game set.
Kazmir (7-4) struck out seven and surrendered just two hits and a pair of walks for the Indians, who have won 10 of their last 11 games.
Yan Gomes had three hits and scored a run, while Chris Perez fired a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 17th save of the season in the triumph.
Corey Kluber draws the start for the Tribe Monday and he is 7-5 with a 3.77 earned run average in 20 games (18 starts). He has faced the Tigers six times (5 starts) in his career, going 1-3 with a 6.82 ERA.
Detroit has won nine of 12 meetings with Cleveland this season.