Anibal Sanchez has had a pretty difficult time since joining the Tigers in a July deal with the Marlins, but that hasn’t extended to his starts versus Cleveland. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday in the Tigers’ 5-3 victory.
Sanchez faced the minimum through 6 2/3 innings, with the only batter to reach doing so on a HBP (he was promptly erased on a double-play ball). Unfortunately, he gave up three straight hits from there, resulting in his removal. Carlos Santana tripled to break up the no-hit bit, Russ Canzler doubled and Lonnie Chisenhall delivered an RBI single, cutting Detroit’s lead to 5-2. The Indians rallied for one more run in the eighth, but that was it for them.
Sanchez is now 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts against the Indians as a member of the Tigers. He’s 1-5 with a 5.66 ERA in his other six outings for the team.
The win kept Detroit one game back of Chicago in the AL Central after the White Sox beat the Twins earlier in the afternoon.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.