DETROIT – Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before Minnesota’s Joe Mauer broke it up with a one-out single, and that was the only hit the Detroit right-hander allowed in the Tigers’ 6-0 victory over the Twins on Friday night.
Sanchez (5-4) fell two outs shy of his second career no-hitter, but thanks to Mauer it was just another almost this season. There have already been five one-hitters this year.
It was Sanchez’s second gem in about a month — he set a franchise record with 17 strikeouts in eight marvelous innings against Atlanta on April 26.
Sanchez struck out 12 and allowed three walks.
The home crowd gave him a standing ovation when he came out to start the ninth, and he immediately struck out Jamey Carroll. Mauer, followed with a clean line drive up the middle — to almost the same spot where Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison’s hit landed last year when he broke up a no-hit bid by Detroit’s Justin Verlander, also with two outs to go.
Sanchez instinctively reached up for Mauer’s hit, but there was no chance for anyone — least of all the pitcher — to catch it. Sanchez then jerked his head back and spun in frustration, but with a bit of a smile on his face.
YANKEES 9, RAYS 4: Brett Gardner, Lyle Overbay and Jayson Nix each drove in two runs, and New York won at St. Petersburg, Fla.
New York’s David Phelps (3-2), who retired his first 13 batters before James Loney hit a one-out double in the fifth, allowed four runs and six hits in 72/3 strong innings.
New York right fielder Curtis Granderson broke the knuckle of his left pinkie finger after getting hit by Cesar Ramos’ pitch in the fifth. After later scoring, he was replaced defensively by Ichiro Suzuki in the bottom of the inning.
ORIOLES 10, BLUE JAYS 6: Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 16th home run and Nick Markakis had three hits and three RBI as Baltimore won at Toronto.
J.J. Hardy, Danny Valencia and Adam Jones all went deep as the Orioles matched a season high in runs and set a season high with four home runs.
Baltimore has hit an ML-best 66 homers this season.
ATHLETICS 6, ASTROS 5: Chris Young connected on a three-run homer in the ninth inning to lift Oakland to a win at Houston.
NATIONALS 5, PHILLIES 2: Jordan Zimmermann became the National League’s first eight-game winner, and Washington followed a calamitous road trip with a winning start to a homestand.
Zimmermann (8-2) allowed two runs and six hits with no walks over seven innings — actually raising his ERA to 1.71 — on an unseasonably chilly and windy night in the nation’s capital.
REDS 7, CUBS 4: Joey Votto extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a homer, and Ryan Hanigan and Brandon Phillips also homered, powering host Cincinnati to a fourth straight win.
The Reds have won 12 of their past 15 games, surging to a season-high 12 games over .500.
Chicago is last in the NL Central, having lost a season-high five straight.
BREWERS 2, PIRATES 1: Marco Estrada gave up one run over seven innings and Alex Gonzalez had a two-run double, leading Milwaukee to a win at home.
Estrada (4-2) retired the first 14 Pittsburgh batters he faced before a two-out bloop single to left field by Neil Walker in the fifth inning gave the Pirates their first base runner.
Estrada struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.