video thumbnail

CWS@DET: Sanchez fans five, holds Sox to three runs

Plenty of energy and excitement surrounded the first two games of the three-game series between the Tigers and Red Sox at Fenway Park.

It brought back memories of the 2013 American League Championship Series, and has showcased some of the best arms in baseball.

Sunday's series finale at 8:05 p.m. ET is likely to do the same, with right-handers Jake Peavy and Anibal Sanchez taking the hill as the Tigers go for the sweep.

"More attention is around this series because of last year's ALCS and just how great it was," Peavy said. "I think it is fun to be a part of it and see the Tigers on the other side. It takes you back. However, once the game starts, we are locked into game mode."

It is an important game for Sanchez, who is making his first start since April 26 after being sidelined because of a laceration on his right middle finger. In five games before going on the disabled list, Sanchez went 0-2 with a 3.13 ERA.

Sunday's game also will mark the first time Sanchez has taken the hill at Fenway since his brilliant performance in Game 1 of the 2013 ALCS, in which he allowed no hits and struck out 12 in six innings.

"It is a pretty good series, and I understand why everyone is so excited for the matchup because of last year's playoffs," said Sanchez.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said his club will keep an eye on Sanchez's pitch count.

"Just because of the way it all went down -- the rain in Spring Training, the rain to start the season, and then he gets this injury. When he finally seems like he's going to get back on a roll, he has the [injury]," Ausmus said. "It would be nice to get him back. It'll take a couple starts to get his pitch count back up where we don't have to be concerned with it, but I guess we'd have to do that regardless."

Peavy is coming off his worst start of the season, against the Twins, allowing six runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings for a no-decision. He's 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA, and still looking for his first win at home.

"I have been grinding along and don't really feel like I have caught my stride yet. I have been working through some things," Peavy said. "It is kind of crazy with the lack of decisions I've had, but we have played a lot of tight ballgames."

Peavy knows that if he pitches the way he did against the Twins, it could be a long night. He vividly remembers Game 4 of last season's ALCS, in which he allowed seven runs on five hits in three innings of work.

"It is pick your poison in that lineup. You aren't going to be walking guys to get to the next guy in the lineup," Peavy said. "It is a big challenge tomorrow night."

Tigers: Robertson granted release
The Tigers granted Nate Robertson his release on Saturday, about two months after signing the left-hander to a Minor League contract.

Robertson was a starting pitcher in the 2006 World Series, which later earned him a three-year contract. He signed with the club midway through Spring Training and tried to make it in the bullpen after a bunch of injuries and inconsistency. He walked 13 batters over 21 innings at Triple-A Toledo, and lefty hitters batted .290 against him.

Robertson told MLB.com in a text message Saturday that this was "most likely" his last stop as a player.

"All is well," Robertson said. "I'm just too old. Gave it a good run, and I really enjoyed it."

Red Sox: Middlebrooks hits DL
Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after an MRI revealed a non-displaced fracture of his right index finger.

Middlebrooks suffered the injury in the first inning of Friday's 1-0 loss to the Tigers on Ian Kinsler's line-drive infield single. Middlebrooks will spend five to seven days in a splint, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell, before the team re-evaluates.

"That's when we'll first look to initiate any baseball activity," Farrell said. "It's hard to say, at this point, how long he'll be down."

Brock Holt, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, played third and hit ninth in place of Middlebrooks for Saturday's game against the Tigers.

Worth noting
• Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter is a career .319 hitter vs. Boston, which ranks sixth among active AL players.

• When the Tigers score five or more runs this season, they are 17-1.

• Boston has played in 15 one-run games this season, which leads the AL. The Red Sox are 5-10 in those contests.

MLB.com Comments