Anibal Sanchez exits start in the fourth inning

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Tigers starterAnibal Sanchez was taken out of tonight’s game against the Twins after three and two-thirds innings due to a shoulder injury, reports Chris Iott. The Tigers had skipped Sanchez’s turn in the rotation last week, making manager Jim Leyland anxious to see his right-hander perform tonight. It didn’t go well, as Sanchez allowed two runs on five hits and an uncharacteristic four walks.

Iott describes Sanchez’s struggles:

The Twins had a runner on and one out in the fourth when Trevor Plouffe ripped a home run an estimated 415 feet to left field to tie the score at 2-2. After Sanchez issued a two-out walk to Brian Dozier, Leyland made a rare trip to the mound that did not result in a pitching change.

But Sanchez threw just one more pitch. Pedro Florimon singled to center to put runners at first and third. After Alex Avila and Sanchez met at the mound and dragged their feet a bit, Leyland returned to the mound and replaced Sanchez with left-hander Darin Downs.

As of right now, there are no indications that Sanchez was lifted due specifically to the shoulder injury, or simply because he performed poorly.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

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The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.