DETROIT (AP) — Anibal Sanchez helped Detroit blank Minnesota for the second straight game, Jose Iglesias had four hits and Alex Avila scored four runs as the Tigers routed the Twins 11-0 Wednesday.
Ian Kinsler drove in four runs for Detroit, which had beaten Minnesota 4-0 on opening day behind star left-hander David Price. Sanchez (1-0) was impressive, as well, allowing three hits and two walks in 6 2-3 innings while striking out six. It was the right-hander’s first start since Aug. 8. He was limited over the last two months of last season by a pectoral issue.
Ricky Nolasco (0-1) gave up six runs and six hits in three-plus innings, walked four and struck out two.
Avila and Iglesias, hitting eighth and ninth in the order, reached base every time they came up — Avila had three walks and a single.
Anthony Gose, making his Detroit debut after the Tigers acquired the center fielder in an offseason trade, came within a home run of the cycle.
This is easily the longest shutout streak for the Tigers to start a season since at least 1912. They opened with 12 scoreless innings in 1914, 1947 and 2004, according to STATS.
The Twins have never gone this long without scoring their first run since moving to Minnesota, although the original Washington Senators were blanked for 19 innings at the start of 1940.
Avila drew leadoff walks in the third and fourth, and the Tigers went on to big innings both times. Kinsler opened the scoring with a two-run single in the third, and Miguel Cabrera’s RBI double made it 3-0.
Gose added a two-run triple in the fourth, and Kinsler followed with an RBI single that skipped past center fielder Jordan Schafer for an error. Kinsler came home on a wild pitch for a 7-0 lead.
Even after Avila was taken out, the No. 8 spot remained productive when pinch-hitter James McCann singled in the eighth. Iglesias followed with a walk — the last two spots in the Detroit order reached base in all 10 plate appearances.
It was the first four-hit game of Iglesias’ career.
Twins: Minnesota has been remarkably healthy at the start of the season, and the pitching staff shouldn’t be too fatigued even after Wednesday’s game. The Twins only used four relievers.
Tigers: Detroit officially put RHP Justin Verlander on the 15-day DL on Wednesday, a move that had been expected for about a week. There was some thought that Verlander might be able to come back from a strained right triceps in time for Sunday’s game at Cleveland, but now LHP Kyle Lobstein is slated for that start.
Detroit RHP Shane Greene — another newcomer to the Tigers — starts Thursday against Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson.