Jim Leyland announced that Anibal Sanchez will start Game 1 of the ALCS and while the Detroit manager didn’t lay out his rotation plans beyond the series opener it’s likely that Justin Verlander throwing 111 pitches in his dominant outing against the A’s last night means he won’t be available until Game 3 versus Boston.
And so the poor Tigers will have to use the American League ERA leader, Sanchez, in Game 1 versus the Red Sox and then likely use the soon-to-be American League Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, in Game 2. Must be tough.
Sanchez had a rough start against the A’s in the ALDS, serving up three homers and allowing six runs in Game 3, but he led the league with a 2.57 ERA in 29 regular season starts while racking up 202 strikeouts in 182 innings.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.