Anibal Sanchez pitched six strong innings Friday in his return to Detroit’s Comerica Park, Juan Soto blasted a solo homer, and the Washington Nationals handed the Tigers their eighth straight loss, 3-1.
Sanchez (4-6) pitched for the Tigers from 2012-17. He had never previously faced Detroit in his long career. The right-hander gave up one run on six hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Another former Tiger, 42-year-old Fernando Rodney, recorded his first save of the season by getting the last three outs. He joined the Nationals’ organization earlier in the month after being designated for assignment by Oakland. Rodney was recalled from the minors earlier this week.
Soto’s homer, in the second inning, was his 14th this season. He also scored another run. Howie Kendrick supplied two hits and an RBI for the Nationals, who have won nine of their past 11 games.
Nicholas Castellanos’ homer accounted for the lone Detroit run. The Tigers have lost 21 of their last 23 home games.
Detroit starter Daniel Norris (2-7) left after five innings with a cut on his pitching thumb. He allowed two runs on five hits and a walk, and he fanned three.
Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones was a late scratch after fouling a ball off his foot during batting practice. He struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance in the ninth.
Leading off the second, Soto crushed an 0-2 Norris offering for a 418-foot home run to right.
The Nationals stranded two runners in the fourth when Kurt Suzuki flied out.
Washington scored the next inning, thanks to Victor Robles’ speed. He reached on a single, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on Adam Eaton’s single to right.
Castellanos made it 2-1 in the bottom of the inning with his two-out homer to right-center that traveled an estimated 436 feet.
The Nationals gave themselves a little breathing room in the eighth. Soto drew a two-out walk, and Kendrick pounded a double to right, allowing the speedy Soto to score.
Detroit drew two walks in the eighth and once again couldn’t get a clutch hit.
—Field Level Media