DETROIT (AP) — Victor Martinez loves hitting homers, though even he had to laugh Sunday when he was asked about breaking out of a power slump with a pair of weekend three-run shots.
His third-inning shot to left was all that Anibal Sanchez needed to finish off a weekend sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-0 victory Sunday.
Before homering Saturday and Sunday, Martinez hadn't hit a ball out since July 3, a 16-game stretch that also included eight days off recovering from a back strain. However, he did hit .281 during his "slump", and the two this weekend gave him 23 on the season, only two short of his career high, so he's not too worried.
"I think I was on pace for 100 homers there for a while, and I have to tell you, I wasn't going to keep that up," he said. "This game is tough, and all you do is go up there and try to have a good at-bat every time up. A lot of times, that's not going to mean a homer, even if you do your job. I've just got a couple on the barrel in the last two days."
Sanchez (8-5) became the third straight Tigers starter to dominate the Rockies, striking out a season-high 12 in seven innings. He only allowed two hits and a walk.
"I had the life back in my fastball, and I just kept going to it," Sanchez said. "When you know you can throw your fastball on every pitch, and you know you can put it anywhere, it makes your other pitches even more dangerous."
Joba Chamberlain allowed one hit in a shutout eighth inning, and Joakim Soria did the same in the ninth.
Jorge De Le Rosa (11-7) gave up four runs on six hits in 6 2-3 innings. All six hits came with two outs, but Detroit grouped three of them to create a big third inning.
"They are tough on everyone — for me, that's the best lineup in the league," De La Rosa said. "I made some really good pitches, and they still hit them. That shows you how good they are."
De La Rosa retired the first two batters of the third, but Rajai Davis's speed and some sluggish defense turned a routine single into a double. De La Rosa then hit Ian Kinsler, and Miguel Cabrera made it 1-0 with a single up the middle.
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