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Sanchez fans 17 to set Tigers record

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 27, 2013 at 2:27 am •  Published: April 27, 2013

DETROIT (AP) — For one night at least, Anibal Sanchez changed the pitching pecking order in the Detroit clubhouse.

Sanchez struck out 17 in eight marvelous innings, and the Tigers routed the Atlanta Braves 10-0 on Friday night. It was a dazzling performance by Sanchez, who broke Mickey Lolich's team record of 16 strikeouts.

Yes, even Justin Verlander has never had a game like this. His career high is 14 strikeouts. Max Scherzer fanned 15 for Detroit in a game last year.

"We were joking after the game that Anibal is No. 1, I'm No. 2 and Ver is just average," Scherzer said.

When told about that comment, Verlander — a former MVP and Cy Young Award winner who has thrown two no-hitters — paused briefly.

"That's OK," he said. "I've got a few other things."

This was Sanchez's night. He threw 121 pitches in his eight innings, so there would be no return for the ninth to try to match Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood with 20 strikeouts. In fact, manager Jim Leyland said he was ready to take Sanchez out after the seventh before letting him pitch a bit longer.

Sanchez was asked after the game about his new place in franchise history. The Tigers have been around for over a century, and Sanchez now sits alone at the top of the list for strikeouts in a game.

"Amazing," Sanchez said. "I'm just going to keep working. That's not going to stop today."

Clemens and Wood are the only pitchers to strike out 20 in a nine-inning game. Since at least 1921, only Randy Johnson has struck out more than 17 while pitching eight innings or less. Johnson, who was then with Seattle, fanned 18 against Texas in eight innings in a 1992 game, according to STATS.

Lolich struck out 16 twice in less than three weeks in 1969.

Sanchez (3-1) allowed five hits and one walk Friday.

Paul Maholm (3-2) allowed eight runs in 3 2-3 innings after giving up only three in his first four starts. Detroit's Matt Tuiasosopo homered and drove in a career-high five runs.

Sanchez kept the Braves off balance all night, striking out at least two hitters in every inning except the fourth. Several of his strikeouts came when he got Atlanta hitters to chase balls down around the dirt. He got Dan Uggla four times and Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco three times each.

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