With a dominant effort, Anibal Sanchez came within two outs of history the last time he faced the Minnesota Twins.
Sanchez - having skipped his last start - looks to shut down Minnesota again Saturday night at Target Field as the Detroit Tigers seek their eighth win in 11 games.
Sanchez's bid to become the fourth active pitcher with multiple no-hitters was foiled on May 24 by Joe Mauer's one-out single in the top of the ninth. That proved to be the only hit against Sanchez, who finished with 12 strikeouts while going the distance in Detroit's 6-0 win.
"It's not that I go to the mound and want to do something special," Sanchez said after his fourth one-hitter. "It's just that I want to go nine innings, go deeper, get a good command, get a good game."
It was the continuation of some recent success versus the Twins, whom he's 1-1 with a 1.37 ERA against over his last four starts. They tagged him for five runs and 12 hits over 5 1-3 innings the first time they saw him in a 9-3 Minnesota win Aug. 13.
Sanchez (6-5, 2.65 ERA) was slated to face Cleveland on Sunday, but was scratched due to tightness in the back of his right shoulder. He said he experienced a similar issue last year in spring training and was OK after sitting out one start.
"I'm not worried. I just need to take care of it," Sanchez told the team's official website. "It's early. We're in June right now, so we have a lot more starts to go. We're working with our body, and when something happens, we need to take care of it."
The Twins (29-35) were dominated by another Tigers pitcher in Detroit's 4-0 win Friday, as Rick Porcello limited them to three hits and no walks over seven innings - the 19th quality start by a Tigers pitcher over the team's last 20 games.
Meanwhile, Minnesota has scored just 24 runs over the last 10 games while going 15 for 92 (.163) with runners in scoring position. Twins hitters were 0 for 6 in such situations Friday.
Twins starter Samuel Deduno (2-1, 3.47) was hit hard by Detroit (37-28) in his season debut May 24, surrendering six runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 6-0 defeat. He rebounded to win his next two starts while giving up one run in 13 innings, then took a step back at Washington Sunday with an inefficient five innings that saw him allow three runs, six hits and three walks.
"Today I didn't feel I had my best stuff," Deduno told the team's official website. "I couldn't throw first-pitch strikes. That was the problem."
Austin Jackson was 0 for 3 Friday but walked and scored a run in his first game since May 11 as he had been out with a strained right hamstring. The center fielder had played three times in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Toledo, where the Tigers optioned Avisail Garcia in a corresponding move prior to Friday's game.
Mauer is 5 for 12 off of Sanchez while Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau are a combined 5 for 30.
Andy Dirks is 6 for 10 against Deduno with two doubles.