Sanchez loses no-hit bid in ninth

DETROIT -- Anibal Sanchez has been there before. So has Joe Mauer.

Mauer ended Sanchez's bid for a second career no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning on Friday night when he rifled a 1-1 curveball into center field for Minnesota's only hit of the game.

It did not prevent the Twins from going down to their 10th straight loss. The Detroit Tigers scored five runs in the second and third innings of a 6-0 victory.

Sanchez, who set a team strikeout record with 17 against Atlanta on April 26, is now 5-4 and has given Detroit solid value through a quarter of the season on a five-year, $80 million contract he signed as a free agent. He walked three and struck out 12.

The one-hitter was the fifth of Sanchez's career. He became the 19th rookie to throw a no-hitter on Sept. 6, 2006, when he held Arizona hitless while pitching for the Florida Marlins, who traded him to Detroit last July 23.

It was the third time in Mauer's career he has ruined a no-hit bid with one out in the ninth.

"He was nasty," said Mauer, who saw a changeup, fastball and curve in his at-bat. "He had really good stuff.

"Every time I go up there I try to get a hit, or a base on balls or something to help the team. But it was just one hit. It doesn't take away from what he did all night. And we still lost."

Tigers catcher Alex Avila said of Mauer's at-bat, "We got him out the two previous times with breaking balls. I think in the back of his mind he knew he wasn't going to let that happen again. Anibal had confidence in his stuff."

Detroit manager Jim Leyland let Sanchez throw 130 pitches; he entered the eighth with 99. Leyland normally cuts his starters off at 100-115 pitches but said he was "going to ride" with Sanchez and the no-hit bid. Sanchez struck out the final two hitters after Mauer's single.

Sanchez made a good play on a comebacker leading off the fifth to keep his hitless string alive and shortstop Jhonny Peralta made two nice but not spectacular plays, the second fetching the first out in the eighth.

Minnesota's first batter of the game walked, but Sanchez retired the next three. He walked Chris Parmelee with one out in the second and then retired the next 18 in a row until walking Eduardo Escobar on four pitches with one out in the eighth.

Sanchez said he had the same type of stuff -- all four pitches working to near perfection -- that he did in striking out 17 Braves for the club record.

"That was more impressive to me," Sanchez said of his strikeout mark. "I never got that many before. A one-hitter I've got before. It takes a lot to strike out 17."

Omar Infante's RBI single to left gave Detroit a 6-0 lead in the sixth. Rookie Avisail Garcia and Andy Dirks each singled to set up Infante.

A couple of scratch hits led to three Detroit runs in the second and substitute center fielder Don Kelly slammed a two-run homer in the third.

Peralta blooped a single to right to start the second against Samuel Deduno (0-1), making his first start of the season for Minnesota. Peralta was forced at second for the second out of the inning.

But then Garcia nubbed a ground single that just was wide of the late-lunging Deduno and Dirks hit a single up the middle that Escobar fielded at shortstop but was just late on his throw to second in a try for a forceout, the only play he had.

"That was the key play of the game, to me," Kelly said. "If he (Garcia) doesn't beat the throw to second, the inning's over and we never score those runs."

But Infante walked on a bad 3-2 pitch to force in the game's first run and Miguel Cabrera cracked a two-run single to left.

Peralta led off the third with a single and one out later Kelly lofted a high fly to right that hit the top of the fence that rests atop the wall for his second home run of the season.

"It was all about their pitcher," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "All of his stuff was working for him."

As for Sanchez's next start, Leyland said he'll cut his pitcher off earlier than normal. It goes without saying another no-hit bid might change his mind.

After the game, Minnesota announced it was calling up right-hander P.J. Walters to start Saturday against Detroit, optioning outfielder Oswaldo Arcia to Triple-A Rochester to make room for the pitcher.

NOTES: Cabrera scored the 1,000th run of his career on Thursday night, joining 19 other active players at that level. ... Gardenhire said he hated to tell Arcia he had to go down, "but he's in a bit of a slump right now and he needs to get some at-bats. He'll be back. I like him a lot. We have very little options with our infield situation right now." ... Leyland gave closer Jose Valverde the night off after he worked three straight games for the first time this season. Leyland said setup man Joaquin Benoit would have been his closer, if necessary. ... Twins SS Pedro Florimon did not start but got into the game in the ninth after jamming his right index finger in the third inning on Thursday night, forcing him from the game. ... Avila returned to the lineup after two games off. He was rested because his batting average was down to .174, but he struck out three times and grounded out once, dropping his average to .168. ... The Twins' 7-6 loss to the Tigers on Thursday night was their eighth one-run defeat in a row. Minnesota won its first five one-run decisions this year. ... Cabrera's two-run single gave him 57 RBI this season, the most after 46 games in the American League since Manny Ramirez had 60 in 1999.