Sanchez tries to lead Tigers to split with Royals

( – Anibal Sanchez will try to get himself on track and
pitch the Detroit Tigers to a four-game split with the Kansas City Royals on
Sunday afternoon.

Sanchez hurled a quality start last time out, but came away with a loss to
fall to 1-3 with a 5.46 earned run average through five starts. He gave up
three runs on nine hits over seven innings of a 3-2 setback at Minnesota on
Tuesday, striking out six without a walk.

The righty has not won since beating the Twins on April 8 with 6 2/3 scoreless
innings and the Tigers have lost each of his last four starts.

“He was a little wild today,” said Tigers catcher Alex Avila. “Lot of life on
his fastball. It was a step in the right direction for him.”

Sanchez is an excellent 5-2 versus the Royals with a 1.07 ERA in seven starts.

The Royals will send out veteran righty Jeremy Guthrie, who has gone 0-1 over
three starts since winning his season debut on April 11.

Guthrie did not factor into an 11-5 win at Cleveland on Tuesday, charged with
four runs on six hits and three walks over five innings. He has walked nine
batters over his last two outings after issuing only one free pass through the
first two and is pitching to a 5.87 ERA on the year.

The 36-year-old has a winning record over 22 career meetings with the Tigers,
including 19 starts, going 9-7 with a 4.63 ERA.

After getting outscored 12-2 in losing the first two games of this series, the
Tigers got an excellent outing from David Price to win Saturday’s meeting 2-1.

Price went the distance to win his third game of the season and nearly posted
the shutout. He set down the first two batters in the ninth, but Lorenzo Cain
lined a ball just over the wall in left to make it a one-run game.

However, Eric Hosmer tried to tie the game with each swing in the next at-bat,
eventually striking out to end the contest.

The 29-year-old left-handed Price surrendered only four other hits and struck
out three while not issuing a walk. He threw 75 of his 106 pitches for

“One of the elite pitchers of the game … He had the command of his fastball
tonight,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Price.

Ian Kinsler finished with two hits and drove in a run for the Tigers. Anthony
Gose added three hits and scored once.

Edinson Volquez gave up two runs on five hits over six full frames for the
Royals, who were held to their fewest runs since dropping a 3-0 decision to
the Twins on April 22.

“I think (Price) was better than me and he pitched a really good game,”
Volquez said.

Salvador Perez collected two of Kansas City’s five hits as the club had won
four of five coming in.

Detroit was 13-6 versus the Royals last season.