TORONTO (CBS DETROIT/AP) — The Detroit Tigers placed right-handers Joakim Soria and Anibal Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, a blow to the AL Central leaders as they try to hold off Kansas City for the division lead. Detroit began Sunday 1 ½ games up on the Royals.

Sanchez, who is 8-5 with a 3.53 ERA, left Friday’s game in the fifth inning with a strained pectoral muscle and returned to Detroit on Saturday to undergo an MRI. He’s expected to miss three to four weeks. 

Soria, who was acquired from Texas on July 24, left Saturday’s game while warming up before the 10th inning with a strained muscle in his left side. He’s 1-1 with a 10.38 ERA in six games with Detroit.

Soria’s ERA was irrevocably bloated when he gave up four earned runs in one-third of an inning in his second outing for the Tigers, but in four appearances since then Soria has a 2.45 ERA. 

Before the injury occurred Saturday, Soria had replaced closer Joe Nathan and extracted the Tigers from the bases-loaded jam Nathan created in the ninth inning of a tie game.

Nathan had not allowed a run in his last seven appearances before that game, but his struggles Saturday, contrasted with Soria’s effectiveness, prompted clamors from some fans to make Soria the closer instead of Nathan.

The Tigers organization, despite Nathan’s rocky year, has steadfastly maintained that Nathan will remain the closer. 

Detroit did not make any moves to replace Sanchez and Soria, leaving the bullpen short for Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays. Nathan has appeared in both games at Toronto so far, getting his sixth blown save Saturday. Detroit will add two players before Monday’s game at Pittsburgh.

Left-hander Robbie Ray is expected to be promoted from Triple-A Toledo to start in Sanchez’s place for Wednesday’s home game against the Pirates.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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