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Blue Jays-Tigers Preview 8-22-12

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Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning on August 13, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning on August 13, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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(AP) — Detroit manager Jim Leyland believes Anibal Sanchez is much better than he’s looked during his short time with the Tigers.

Sanchez tries to avoid a third consecutive losing start Wednesday night and help the Tigers hand the struggling Toronto Blue Jays a fifth straight road defeat.

Since a 10-2 victory over Cleveland on Aug. 3 in his second outing after Detroit acquired him from Miami, Sanchez (1-3, 7.97 ERA) has allowed 12 runs and 19 hits in 8 1-3 innings over his last two starts. He’ll be taking the mound Wednesday for the first time since Aug. 13, when he gave up five runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-3 loss at Minnesota.

“He’s not keeping the ball down well enough,” Leyland said. “I certainly know that he’s a better pitcher than he’s shown so far.”

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