Marlins complete sweep as Giants lose 1-0 in first game post-Posey

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Anibal Sanchez pitched his third career shutout Thursday as the Marlins beat the Giants 1-0 to complete their first sweep in San Francisco since 1995.

With Buster Posey absent from the middle of the lineup, the Giants managed just five hits today and never put together much of a threat.  Only in the first inning did they have multiple hitters reach base.

Posey’s replacement, Eli Whiteside, went 0-for-2 before being removed for a pinch-hitter.

Ryan Vogelsong was the hard-luck loser for San Francisco, dropping his first decision despite going a season-high eight innings.  He lowered his ERA to 1.77 and demonstrated one more time why it’s going to be impossible to shift him to the bullpen once the injured Barry Zito is ready to return.

Sanchez went the distance for the second time this season.  He took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of a 4-1 win over the Rockies on April 22.  He became the first Marlins starter to pitch a shutout in a 1-0 game since A.J. Burnett in 2005.

The Marlins are now 29-19.  They’re even with the NL East-leading Phillies in the loss column, though they have two fewer wins.  No other NL team has a better record.

The Giants fell to 27-22 with the loss.  Even after the sweep, they remain two games up on the Rockies in the NL West.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.