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Sanchez Pitches Out Of Two Big Jams

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30: Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on September 30, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 30: Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on September 30, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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-RHP Anibal Sanchez turned in a sturdy seven innings Sunday by working out of two serious scoring situations. “Sanchez was fantastic,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I think he’s more comfortable with his surroundings, pitching coach, manager, teammates. I think he’s really settled in now. He knows the league a little bit better now.” Minnesota got a man to third with one out in the fifth but Sanchez got a strikeout and a groundout. With runners on first and third with nobody out in the sixth Sanchez got a foul to third, a tapper back to the mound and a line shot that 3B Miguel Cabrera snared with a leap to keep it from becoming a two-run double. He gave up an RBI single with one out in the seventh that drove him from the game. “In that inning, they hit the holes. That’s part of the game.”

–1B Prince Fielder hit a game-winning home run off the top of the wall in left in the eighth inning Sunday that gave Detroit a 2-1 victory over Minnesota and moved the Tigers within one win of clinching the AL Central title. Fielder clapped his hands in exultation as he rounded the bases and was shouting in excitement as he entered the dugout. “We’re trying to win the division and every game counts and we got a couple left and I’m just glad I could help,” Fielder said. “It feels good. Everybody’s excited. I think everybody’s starting to get a little more excited about finishing up.” It was Fielder’s 30th home run of the season and marked the sixth year in a row he has reached that figure. “Another big hit by one of the stars,” manager Jim Leyland said. “Just a big one at the right time.”

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