Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - The Indians haven’t had much success against Saturday Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, and Saturday he flirted with a no-no against the Indians in the Tigers 5-3 win.
Sanchez took the no-hitter to the 7th inning, when the Indians bats finally woke up with a Carlos Santana triple, and then a Russ Canzler double broke it up.
Lonnie Chisenhall then singled to score Canzler, making it at that point a 5-2 game, but it was too little too late as the Indians lost their third straight to the Tigers.
Detroit stays pace a game back of the White Sox for first in the AL Central as the Sox beat the Twins on Saturday before the Tigers even took the field.
The loss puts the Indians at 60-86, and they are now 32-39 at home.
Sanchez improves to 8-12 on the year, he went 6.2 innings, allowing the two runs on three hits with on walks and seven strikeouts.
Indians starter Justin Masterson was pretty bad in the outing, as he got in trouble early, allowing two Detroit runs in the first to put a dark shadow on his outing.
He went 4.2 innings, allowing four runs, two earned on six hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. He struck out the first six batters, but when he wasn’t getting K’s, he was giving up runs.
He walked two batters in the first, and then an error by Lonnie Chisenhall at third allowed a run to score to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Alex Avila then singled to left to bring home Prince Fielder to give Detroit a quick 2-0 lead, one that they would build on in the 4th and 5th.
Austin Jackson hit sacrifice fly to right center in the fourth to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead, and then in the fifth they got it to 4-0 when Avila doubled to score another run.
In a weird turn of events, Avila came around to score that inning, but the run was taken off the board after the Indians protested that he touched third, and he was ruled out.
After the Indians finally got to Sanchez for two in the 7th down 5-0, they got another in the 8th when with two outs they rallied for a run.
Cord Phelps got his first hit of 2012, and came around to score on an Asdrubal Cabrera single to make it a 5-3 game.
Detroit went to closer Jose Valverde in the 9th to close the door and he notched his 31st save of 2012.
Sunday is the finale of the three-game set, with Rick Porcello going for the Tigers against Ubaldo Jimenez for the Indians with a 3:05pm start.