A crushing blow.
Tigers 5, Nationals 1
In the day’s marquee matchup, Anibal Sanchez (18 GS, 111 IP, 2.59 ERA, 2.46 FIP, 3.8 WAR) finished with 7 innings of 1 run baseball and got the better of Stephen Strasburg after dueling early. Both teams scored single runs early in the game and were shut down by the two starters until the bottom of the 6th. At that point, the Tigers broke through. Cabrera made the first out before Fielder singled, Martinez doubled, and Peralta walked. With the bases loaded Andy Dirks struck out swinging and left it up to Alex Avila. Avila worked himself into a 2-1 count, before turning on a 96 mph fastball from one of the game’s best and deposited it in the right field seats to give the Tigers a 5-1 lead. That would be all they would need as Leyland called on Veras for the 8th and Benoit for the 9th who shut the door easily. The win is the Tigers’ 60th of the season and their 8th in their last 9. A quick turnout will put the Tigers on the field during Wednesday’s trading deadline with Justin Verlander (22 GS, 137.2 IP, 3.99 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 3.0 WAR) on the mound trying to rediscover his release point.
The Moment: Avila’s grand slam puts the Tigers ahead for good.