Sunday was not a good day for the Tigers' pitching staff. First, right-hander Anibal Sanchez has been placed on the DL with a strained pectoral muscle. Per GM Dave Dombrowski, Sanchez is expected to be sidelined for the next three to four weeks (source: George Sipple via Twitter). As well, reliever Joakim Soria joins Sanchez on the DL with a strained oblique, and Dombrowski says he's likely to miss the next two to three weeks (source: James Schmehl via Twitter).
Sanchez gets overshadowed in the Detroit rotation, but he's been oustanding since being acquired via trade with the Marlins in July of 2012: 3.11 ERA and 3.65 K/BB ratio in 62 starts for the Tigers. Soria, meantime, has struggled in 4 1/3 innings since being acquired from the Rangers last month, but he has strong numbers overall this season and a tremendous track record.
All of this means that the Tigers will be without one of their best starters and arguably their best reliever until perhaps the final month of the regular season. Detroit suffers this dual blow just as the fast-rising Royals have whittled down the Tigers' lead in the AL Central to just 1 1/2 games.