DETROIT (AP) — Anibal Sanchez had been excellent against Kansas City over the last few years.
This time, the Royals were ready. Alcides Escobar homered on Sanchez's first pitch and made a sparkling catch of Miguel Cabrera's line drive two innings later, and the Royals went on to a 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. Kansas City moved back into first place in the AL Central after the Tigers had taken a half-game lead by beating the Royals in a sloppily played series opener Friday night.
"I knew they were coming really aggressive. They did it (Friday)," Sanchez said. "The first pitch for Escobar I think is way high. It's not like a good pitch. It's a ball pitch. He's just jumping at that fastball. He just gets good contact and that's why he got a homer."
Jeremy Guthrie (2-2) allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings for the Royals. Sanchez (2-4) allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings, his ERA rising to 5.44 on the young season.
Sanchez came into the game with a 1.40 ERA in eight career starts against Kansas City, but the Royals were aggressive early and scored all their runs in the first four innings.
Guthrie allowed fewer than three runs for the first time this year.
Escobar belted Sanchez's first offering well beyond the fence in left field for his first home run of the season.
"I said, 'If he throws me a fastball right down the middle, I'm swinging no matter what,' " Escobar said.
Eric Hosmer added an RBI double that inning, and Kansas City scored two more runs in the second on RBI singles by Escobar and Hosmer.