DETROIT — Anibal Sanchez didn’t pitch especially well. Neither did the Detroit Tigers bullpen.
Omar Infante and Miguel Cabrera hit two-run home runs Monday night and Victor Martinez hit a solo shot, but the Tigers suffered an 8-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
Anibal Sanchez had his worst start since before the All-Star break. He had a 1.51 ERA in the second half coming into the game but allowed four runs in five innings in this one.
The game was tied 4-4 when Sanchez came out of the game, but the A’s scored runs in each of the next three innings to build an 8-4 lead.
Tigers pitchers combined to walk eight batters. The Tigers left the bases loaded two times and stranded 10 runners in all.
KEY TO THE GAME
Immediately after the Tigers tied the game at 4-4 on Cabrera’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, the A’s rallied against Tigers reliever Alvarez for a pair of runs. Four of the five batters Alvarez faced singled as the A’s took a 6-4 lead. The A’s tacked on a run in the seventh against Al Alburquerque, thanks in part to a pair of walks, and another in the eighth against Jeremy Bonderman.
– Infante has been swinging the bat well. He continued to in this one. Infante hit an 0-2 pitch from A’s starter A.J. Griffin on a line over the wall in left field for a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game at 2-2. Infante entered the game hitting .388 (19-for-49) since the All-Star break, but it was his first home run since July 1.
– Cabrera tied the game at 4-4 with one swing of the bat in the fifth inning. With Austin Jackson on first and two outs, Cabrera hit a 3-1 pitch from Griffin over the wall in right field. It was the 43rd home run of the season for Cabrera and ensured that Sanchez would not take the loss.
– Martinez led off the eighth inning with a solo home run, his 11th homer of the season, to cut his team’s deficit to 8-5. He finished with four hits.
– Sanchez got off to a rough start and was lucky to get out of the inning without more damage being done. Coco Crisp led off the game with a double over the head of Torii Hunter in right and scored on a one-out single up the middle by Josh Donaldson. Donaldson moved to third on a single by Brandon Moss and scored to make it 2-0 when Yoenis Cespedes reached base to prevent the Tigers from turning an inning-ending double play. Sanchez got out of the inning when Seth Smith ripped a line drive right into Sanchez’s glove, who seemed a bit surprised to find it there.
– After Infante tied the score with a home run in the second, the A’s bounced right back to take the lead in the top of the third. Coco Crisp led off the inning with a home run to right field to give the A’s a 3-2 lead. It was the fourth home run in five games for Crisp and the 100th of his career.
– Back-to-back walks issued by Sanchez in the fourth inning came back to bite him. Daric Barton followed the second of the two walks with an RBI single to left field to make it 4-2.
– The Tigers stranded three runners in the first six innings, then stranded three in both the seventh and the eighth. Prince Fielder flied out to deep center field to end the seventh and strand three, and Torii Hunter struck out on three pitches to end the eighth with the bases loaded.
OTHER GAME NOTES
– The good news for Sanchez: He struck out five of the final six batters he faced. The bad news: He was all done after five innings. Sanchez was removed from the game after striking out Yoenis Cespedes to end the fifth with his 112th pitch. His final line: 5IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 6SO.
– The final line for Griffin: 5-plus IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 4SO. He threw 91 pitches, 56 for strikes.
– Jose Iglesias returned to the starting lineup for the Tigers after missing the previous two games after being hit just above the left elbow with a pitch Friday night against the New York Mets.