Anibal Sanchez exits start early after taking a line drive off of his left leg

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Anibal Sanchez lasted just five pitches in Tuesday night’s start — his first start since August 16 — when he took a Whit Merrifield line drive off of his shin to lead off the first inning. Sanchez left with a trainer and was relieved by Myles Jaye. Jaye eventually allowed Merrifield to score, with the run being charged to Sanchez.

Sanchez, 33, had been on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He entered Tuesday’s action carrying an ugly 6.95 ERA and a 68/21 K/BB ratio over 77 2/3 innings this season.

The Tigers should have more details on Sanchez’s condition later. With only a few weeks remaining in the season, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Tigers shut Sanchez down. The club has a $16 million club option with a $5 million buyout on Sanchez for the 2018 season.

Update: The Tigers say Sanchez has a left calf contusion, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck. X-rays came back negative.