--RHP Anibal Sanchez pitched his best game for Detroit on Wednesday night, but all it brought him was his fourth loss in sixth starts with the Tigers. Sanchez held Kansas City to a run on seven hits and no walks. "That was by far the best Sanchez has pitched," manager Jim Leyland said. The only run of the game came in on 1B Eric Hosmer's 80-foot pop fly over Sanchez's head, right between SS Jhonny Peralta and 2B Ramon Santiago. "That just part of the game," Sanchez said. "A big hit or a hit like that one; part of the game."
--CF Austin Jackson was retired twice by Kansas City pitchers Wednesday night, which was two more times than the Royals got him out the night before. Jackson doubled and singled Wednesday, but while he scored each time after his three hits Tuesday, this time neither he nor any other Tiger crossed home plate. He keeps using the whole field to hit. His double was yanked down the third base line, while his single went to center field. Jackson also ran into the center field wall catching a line drive off the bat of DH Billy Butler in the fourth.
--3B Miguel Cabrera didn't look to be bothered by his right ankle Wednesday night. Cabrera executed a popup slide on his leadoff double in the seventh, showing no signs of pain as he slid into the bag at second with his right foot catching the base. He struck out with CF Austin Jackson on third and one out in the first, and his bid for a score-tying extra-base hit with nobody out in the ninth was caught with a slide by Kansas City CF Jarrod Dyson.
--2B Omar Infante got a night off Wednesday but is expected to be back in the lineup Thursday in Kansas City. Infante has firmed up the second base position for Detroit since being obtained in a trade with Miami. There was nothing more to his rest Wednesday than manager Jim Leyland's simple desire to give him a day off to keep him fresh.
--LHP Phil Coke already knows what manager Jim Leyland said Wednesday -- that he has to do better. "That's just as simple as it is," Leyland said. "He's got to do better. There's no ifs, ands, buts about it." Coke put a curveball much too high in the strike zone Tuesday night, and left-handed-hitting Mike Moustakas scalded it down the first base for an RBI double in the eighth that gave Kansas City a 9-8 victory over Detroit. Leyland said he could have intentionally walked Moustakas but was confident Coke could get him out. "Coke is a late, left-handed reliever that's got to get left-handed hitters out," Leyland said. "That's his responsibility. He's our late left guy. The fact is he's struggling. But certainly I felt very comfortable he could get Moustakas out. He's got to get one left-handed hitter out for the third out. If you can't do that, we've got problems. ... That's his responsibility."
Coke allowed four inherited runners to score through July, but in nine August outings, he has allowed five of eight inherited runners to score. Leyland said he might have to look elsewhere if Coke can't straighten himself out.
--RHP Doug Fister (strained right groin muscle) was confirmed Wednesday as Detroit's Friday starter against the White Sox. Fister threw another sturdy bullpen session Tuesday and pronounced himself ready to go Wednesday.
--LHP Drew Smyly officially entered Detroit's bullpen Wednesday when RHP Doug Fister was declared Friday's starter. Smyly started once while Fister was out with a sore right groin muscle. Instead of optioning him back to the minors, the Tigers kept him with the idea of having him work out of the bullpen when Fister was able to return to the rotation. He was available to pitch Wednesday but didn't get into the game.
BY THE NUMBERS
8 -- At-bats for Detroit with a runner in scoring position Wednesday night. The Tigers failed to get a hit in any of the chances.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"That's just as simple as it is. He's got to do better. There's no ifs, ands, buts about it." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on LHP Phil Coke, who has struggled through August, allowing at least one hit in eight of his nine appearances during the month.
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