Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) – Ian Kinsler had two hits and drove in four
runs and Anibal Sanchez tossed 6 2/3 strong innings to lead the Detroit Tigers
over the Minnesota Twins 11-0 on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Sanchez (1-0) allowed just three hits, struck out six and walked two for the
Tigers, who have won the first two games of this season-opening, three-game
set, both by shutout.
The right-hander combined with four relievers on the four-hit shutout, marking
the first time in franchise history the Tigers have opened the season with
“These guys have a chance to be a productive offense, but you come out the
first two days and put up 18 zeroes and it’s a little frustrating,” said new
Twins manager Paul Molitor.
Alex Avila and Jose Iglesias, the Tigers’ bottom two hitters in the lineup,
went a combined 5-for-5, reaching base nine times with seven runs scored.
Avila had one hit and was walked three times, while Iglesias was 4-for-4 with
walk and a double.
Kinsler, Anthony Gose and Miguel Cabrera benefited from their production. In
addition to Kinsler, Gose had three hits and drove in three runs, while
Cabrera had two hits and drove in a pair for Detroit, which has outscored the
Twins 15-0 through two games.
“Between the hits and walks, it fueled our offense,” said Detroit manager Brad
Ausmus, who was the last Tigers catcher before Avila to score four runs in one
game, doing it in 2000.
Minnesota’s offense, meanwhile, continues to be cold. The Twins have just nine
hits and have struck out 15 times through 18 innings this season with only one
extra-base hit, a sixth-inning double by Jordan Schafer in this game.
Minnesota starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (0-1) lasted just three-plus innings
and was charged with six runs on six hits, striking out two and walking four.
The Tigers got to Nolasco for three runs in the third inning thanks to
Kinsler, who drove in the first two runs with a base hit and then scored from
first on Cabrera’s double.
Nolasco was forced from the game in the fourth. With Avila and Iglesias on
base, Gose tripled to right to score both. Kinsler then greeted reliever
Tim Stauffer with a single to center to chase home Gose and advanced to third
when center fielder Jordan Schafer let the ball go under his glove and to the
wall for a 6-0 cushion.
Kinsler later scored the final run of the fourth inning when Stauffer uncorked
a wild pitch.
Detroit added two more runs in the fifth when Avila scored on a Kinsler sac
fly and Iglesias scored on a Cabrera base hit.
The Tigers made it 10-0 in the seventh when Gose doubled home Avila, who had
earlier singled and moved to second on an Iglesias base hit. Then, in the
eighth, James McCann, batting for Avila, drove in the 11th run of the game for
Prior to the game, the Tigers placed starting pitcher Justin Verlander on the
15-day disabled list due to a right triceps strain, retroactive to March 29
… The Tigers recalled pitcher Kyle Lobstein and he is tentatively scheduled
to start on Sunday, April 12 at Cleveland … Sanchez improved to 4-0,
allowing just 16 earned runs over 55 2/3 innings with 42 strikeouts in his
season debuts over his career… Torii Hunter tied Bob Allison for ninth on
the Twins all-time list in games played (1,236) … Thursday’s series finale
will see Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson face Detroit’s Shane Greene.