By NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Anibal Sanchez pitched six strong innings, and Dixon Machado hit his first career home run to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 6-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
Sanchez (1-0) earned his first victory since Aug. 23, allowing two runs and five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Sanchez was pitching so poorly this season that he was sent down to Triple-A Toledo, but the 33-year-old right-hander has posted a 3.09 ERA in four starts since returning from the minors.
Machado’s first home run came in the 146th at-bat of his career. The 25-year-old infielder hit a two-run shot in the second that put the Tigers up 4-0.
Chris Stratton (0-2) allowed five runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in his first career start. He took the mound after the Giants scratched right-hander Johnny Cueto before the game because of an inner ear infection.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead on RBI singles by Miguel Cabrera in the first and Alex Presley in the second. Later in the second, Machado connected for his home run.
Detroit players ignored him when he returned to the dugout until Nicholas Castellanos grabbed his head and started playfully rubbing it in celebration.
Presley’s RBI single in the third made it 5-0. Joe Panik hit an RBI triple for the Giants in the sixth and scored on Hunter Pence’s groundout.
Stratton, who had made nine relief appearances for the Giants since the start of last season, had five walks and one strikeout.
Castellanos added an RBI single in the eighth for the game’s final run. Shane Greene, Bruce Rondon and Justin Wilson each pitched a perfect inning in relief for the Tigers.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (ribs, shoulder) allowed nine runs in four innings in a rehab start for Class A San Jose on Wednesday night. He threw 76 pitches. “He’ll pitch again down there, and we’ll extend him to around 90 pitches, after that start, we’ll see where we’re at, we’ll evaluate him, and he should be ready to join our rotation,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Tigers: Detroit put LHP Daniel Norris on the 10-day DL with a strained left groin.
Giants: San Francisco returns home for a three-game series with Miami. LHP Matt Moore (3-8) starts Friday night for the Giants against RHP Dan Straily (6-4).
Tigers: Detroit visits Cleveland for three games, with RHP Jordan Zimmermann (5-6) starting Friday night for the Tigers against RHP Carlos Carrasco (9-3).
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