DETROIT — Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez is suddenly having all sorts of trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark.
Sanchez (1-2) allowed three home runs in his last start, a 5-4 loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. That makes five home runs in two games — he gave up a total of four homers in 126 innings last year, the fewest for any pitcher with at least 100 innings.
"It's happened the last two starts, but it's done soon," Sanchez said.
Overall, Sanchez gave up nine runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
"Today's one of those games. I thought I made a really good pitch against a couple of those hitters," he said. "And, you know, groundballs, base hits, a couple guys hit it hard, a couple homers. They took advantage of all my mistakes today."
J.D. Martinez homered for Detroit, which lost for the second time in 11 games this season. The Tigers have only scored eight runs in their last four games. They won the previous three with a total of five runs.
Miguel Cabrera, playing on his 32nd birthday, hit an RBI single for a 1-0 lead in the first.
"We did put it together early," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "Really when you're going through offensive lows in terms of scoring runs like we have and you're still able to walk away with victories, I think that's a huge plus."
Chicago scored four runs in the third inning and seven more in the fourth. The White Sox finished with 17 hits, with Abreu and LaRoche each getting three and driving in four runs.
Melky Cabrera matched a career high with four hits and knocked in two runs.
"Everybody knows what we are capable of doing. It was a good day for us," Abreu said through a translator. "I hope we can keep this momentum for the next one. Not saying that we can do again what we did today but we can do damage."
Abreu, LaRoche and Cabrera came into the game hitting a combined .180 with four homers and six RBIs.
Abreu's second career grand slam, and third homer of the season, finished Sanchez.
Martinez led off the bottom of the fourth with his fifth home run.
Nick Castellanos singled in a run for the Tigers in the eighth.
Tigers: Justin Verlander won't pick up a baseball until Sunday after he was more sore than expected two days after throwing 80 pitches. The veteran right-hander is on the disabled list with a right triceps strain. "It wasn't an injury setback, he's just more sore than what we expected," Ausmus said.
RHP Shane Greene (2-0) will be Detroit's starter in Sunday's series finale. He hasn't allowed a run in 16 innings his first two starts for Detroit and has surrendered only seven hits. LHP Jose Quintana (1-0, 4.09) will start for Chicago.
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