Tigers fall 12-3 in worst start of Anibal Sanchez's career

Sanchez allowed career-high 9 earned runs in 3.1 innings


DETROIT – Anibal Sanchez got blown out in the fourth inning Saturday and the Detroit Tigers (9-2) dropped their second game of the season, 12-3 to the Chicago White Sox (4-6). Detroit fell to 1-2 in Sanchez's starts as his ERA ballooned to 7.71 on the year.

Sanchez worked around some trouble in the first inning, getting out of a two-on, one-out jam with a strikeout of Adam LaRoche and a groundout from Avisail Garcia.

In the bottom half of the 1st, Rajai Davis led off with a double off of Chris Sale. Miguel Cabrera, who turned 32 years old Saturday, came up with one out and ripped the ninth pitch of the at-bat into center field for an RBI single.

Sale retired Victor Martinez on a ground ball after a seven-pitch battle. Sale beaned Martinez and accused him of stealing signs through a fan with binoculars in 2014.

Read: Tigers, Chris Sale meet after benches cleared in 2014

The Tigers settled for one run in the 1st inning, but forced Sale to throw 28 stressful pitches.

Anibal Sanchez got through two innings on just 24 pitches, but started to unravel in the 3rd inning. The White Sox turned a walk and three hits into four runs, capped by a three-run blast to right field by LaRoche.

After Victor Martinez stranded two runners in the top of the 4th, Sanchez loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half, prompting the Tigers' bullpen into action early in the game. But Brad Ausmus left him in to work out of the jam and he allowed a single to Melky Cabrera and grand slam to Jose Abreu.

Sanchez left the game after allowing nine earned runs on nine hits and two strikeouts in 80 pitches. He has now allowed more home runs (five) in his last two starts than he did in 21 starts in 2014 (four). Sanchez had never allowed nine earned runs in a game before Saturday.

Cabrera and Abreu went a combined 6-6 with six RBI and four runs against Sanchez.

Blaine Hardy relieved Sanchez in the 4th and allowed three straight singles and a sacrifice fly before getting out of the 4th.

The White Sox scored seven runs in the 4th inning after failing to score seven runs in any of their first nine games. The last time the White Sox scored seven runs in one inning was on July 29 of last year, also in Comerica Park.

J.D. Martinez hit his fifth home run on the year to lead off the bottom of the 4th, cutting the Chicago lead to 11-2.

Blaine Hardy struggled again in the 5th, allowing another run before being relieved by Angel Nesbitt. Hardy allowed three runs on five hits in just 1.1 innings.

Nesbitt got four outs, allowing just one hit and one walk.

Tom Gorzelanny came in for the 7th inning and struck out two White Sox hitters in the 1-2-3 frame.

Al Alburquerque pitched around a walk for a scoreless 8th inning. Joba Chamberlain got the nod in the 9th and pitched around a one-out single.

The bullpen finished the game with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing 3 earned runs (all charged to Hardy) on eight hits and three walks.

Chris Sale lasted just six innings in the start, but got the win. He allowed two earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out six.

Nick Castellanos drove in a run in the 8th as a pinch hitter for Victor Martinez, cutting the deficit to 12-3 and rounding out the scoring for the day.

Detroit will look to win the series Sunday afternoon behind starter Shane Greene. The Tigers have won each of their first three series heading into Sunday's rubber match.