Al Alburquerque helps preserve Anibal Sanchez’s no-hitter, bullpen will carry it into the eighth

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Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez no-hit the Red Sox through six innings, but as his pitch count was run up so high, he could not complete the feat. The right-hander exited after tossing 116 pitches. Reliever Al Alburquerque took over for him in the bottom of the seventh, retiring the bottom of the Red Sox lineup in order, recording two strikeouts in the process.

Jose Veras will get the call in the eighth inning. Veras has made one appearance for the Tigers in the playoffs thus far, tossing 1.2 innings in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Athletics. He allowed two hits and struck out three. He will face Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.