(Sports Network) - Justin Verlander gave the Detroit Tigers exactly what they
expected in Monday's season opener against the Minnesota Twins.
Now, they hope right-hander Anibal Sanchez can deliver a similar effort when
the Tigers play the middle test of their three-game set with the Twins at
Sanchez came to Detroit in a July 23 trade with the Miami Marlins and was
inconsistent, going 4-6 with a 3.74 earned run average in 12 regular-season
starts. However, he shined for them in the postseason, as he compiled a 1.77
ERA, but was 1-2 in three playoff outings.
A free agent at season's end, the Tigers kept him in the mix with a 5-year,
$80 million deal.
"Anibal pitched tremendously for us down the stretch and during the
postseason," Tigers president and general manager David Dombrowski said at the
time. "He strengthens our starting rotation and we are pleased to have him
back with the Tigers organization."
Sanchez will be trying to help the Tigers start 2-0 after Verlander delivered
a solid effort despite some pretty adverse conditions in his first start since
agreeing to his 5-year, $140 million extension. Verlander scattered three hits
and struck out seven over five scoreless frames in the Tigers' 4-2 win.
The game-time temperature peaked at 35 degrees and winds reached as high 17
mph throughout the contest.
"When I was warming up in the sun, I was like, 'I could have come out in short
sleeves. This isn't that bad.' As soon as the shade set in, it was a totally
different ball game. It was miserable," Verlander said.
Prince Fielder and Omar Infante each had two hits and an RBI in the win, while
Torii Hunter also had a pair of hits in his debut for the Tigers.
Ryan Doumit had an RBI and Trevor Plouffe scored on a wild pitch for the
Twins, while Vance Worley allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out
three over six innings to absorb the loss.
"We did some good things out there. It was a fun ballgame. Unfortunately we
didn't come up with one more big hit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Getting the call for the Twins on Wednesday will be righty Kevin Correia, who
will be making his American League debut.
Correia, an All-Star in 2011, spent the previous two seasons with the
Pittsburgh Pirates, managing 12-11 records each year while his earned run
average dropped from 4.79 to 4.21 in 2012.
The Tigers won the season series with the Twins last year, 10-8.
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