Anibal Sanchez hit hard in first start with Tigers

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Anibal Sanchez stumbled in his Tigers’ debut this afternoon, giving up five runs over six-plus innings in a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays.

Sanchez, who was acquired from the Marlins this week along with second baseman Omar Infante, allowed eight hits and three walks. This included a season-high three home runs. Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar both had solo shots while Colby Rasmus’ two-run blast in the bottom of the seventh chased Sanchez from the ballgame.

Sanchez’s season ERA jumped from 3.94 to 4.11 in the loss. The impending free agent has a 5.81 ERA over his last 10 starts dating back to the start of June. It will be interesting to see how he fares pitching in the more difficult league, but if healthy, his peripherals and track record both suggest that he should be a fine addition to the Tigers’ rotation down the stretch.

Henderson Alvarez limited the Tigers to five hits over seven innings of one-run ball en route to improving to an even 7-7 on the year. The Blue Jays have won three in a row to move within 3 1/2 games in the Wild Card race while the Tigers have dropped three straight to fall two games behind the White Sox in the American League Central.

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.