Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before Minnesota’s Joe Mauer broke it up with a one-out single in the Detroit Tigers’ 6-0 victory over the Twins on Friday.
Sanchez fell two outs shy of his second career no-hitter, but the performance was his second gem in about a month — he set a franchise record with 17 strikeouts in eight marvelous innings against the Atlanta Braves on April 26.
Sanchez (5-4) struck out 12 on Friday and allowed three walks, with just one hit against over the nine innings.
The home crowd gave him a standing ovation when he came out to start the ninth and he immediately struck out Jamey Carroll. Mauer followed with a clean line drive up the middle — to almost the same spot where Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison’s hit landed last year when he broke up a no-hit bid by Detroit’s Justin Verlander, also with two outs to go.
Sanchez instinctively reached up for Mauer’s hit, but there was no chance for anyone — least of all the pitcher — to catch it. Sanchez then jerked his head back and spun in frustration, but with a bit of a smile on his face.
After he struck out the next two hitters to end the game, he shared a hug with catcher Alex Avila. Sanchez threw 130 pitches.
Elsewhere, an injury to outfielder Curtis Granderson marred the New York Yankees’ 9-4 victory at the Tampa Bay Rays.
Granderson broke the knuckle on his left pinky finger after being hit by a Cesar Ramos pitch in the fifth inning. After later scoring, he was replaced defensively by Ichiro Suzuki in the bottom of the inning.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had no official time line for how long Granderson would be out, but indicated it could be a minimum of four weeks.
“It is what it is,” said Granderson, who will see a hand specialist in New York tomorrow. “You can’t change it right now, you’ve got to move forward.”
In Kansas City, Mike Trout had his 21st multi-hit game and Jason Vargas pitched into the eighth inning as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 to extend their winning streak to six games.
Trout had two hits, stole his 11th base and scored two runs, including one on a wild pitch.
In other American League games, the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-6, Mike Carp hit a three-run homer as the Boston Red Sox rolled the Cleveland Indians 8-1, the Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 9-5 and the Oakland Athletics edged the Houston Astros 6-5.
Jordan Zimmermann became the National League’s first eight-game winner as the Washington Nationals followed a calamitous road trip with a winning start to a homestand, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2.
Zimmermann (8-2) allowed two runs and six hits with no walks over seven innings — actually raising his ERA to 1.71 — on an unseasonably chilly and windy night in the nation’s capital.
Joey Votto extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a homer, while Ryan Hanigan and Brandon Phillips also homered, powering the Cincinnati Reds to their fourth straight win, 7-4 over the Chicago Cubs.
In other National League games, the Milwaukee Brewers had a narrow 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Arizona Diamondbacks scored a 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies dismantled defending champions the San Francisco Giants 5-0, the St Louis Cardinals routed the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-0, while the game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves was suspended in the eighth inning at 5-5.