LAKELAND, Fla. -- Long before many Tigers players roll into the clubhouse at Joker Marchant Stadium, even before manager Brad Ausmus arrives, Anibal Sanchez is up and running -- literally, on the surrounding streets.
Sanchez has a route picked out that takes him about 4 1/2 miles from the ballpark toward downtown and back, shorter than the seven-mile runs he does with regularity during the offseason.
Sanchez does this the day after he pitches as part of his workout routine. He'll likely do that on Sunday morning. It might well simulate the endurance test he received from the Phillies, who worked Sanchez for 33 pitches in his first inning on Saturday afternoon.
Sanchez settled down from there to finish with 62 pitches over his four-inning performance, his third spring start. He gave up four runs on four hits, nearly all of which came in the first inning, but he survived.
"Spring Training is building arms, building situations," Sanchez said. "We don't know any game plan. We don't know the hitters. We don't know the lineups at all. But I think my preparation today was really good. I learned a lot today for my next outing and for the season."
It's a building process for Sanchez, with his 2013 effectiveness being the goal. He won the American League ERA title that season, based in part on coming out of a healthy spring. He never quite had that chance to build last spring, between a shoulder scare in mid-March and weather postponements that limited his innings, both in Spring Training and into the regular season.
"I just feel healthy," Sanchez said. "I feel healthy right now, and I'm going to continue my preparation for my next start, and another start. I need to clear my mind. That's why I feel good today that I threw my ball like I used to do in 2013. I had good delivery and my ball started moving more. That's what I want to do this year. I'm working right now on that."
Two of the four hits he allowed were home runs from Brian Bogusevic, accounting for three of the runs -- a two-run homer lofted off a Sanchez fastball in the first inning, then a solo shot in the third.
The second home run was the only hit Sanchez allowed among his final 12 batters after three hits, a walk and an error cluttered his first.
"His stuff was good. He used all of his pitches. The action was good," Ausmus said. "Quite frankly, the [first] home run -- not to take anything away from the hitter -- was a fly ball on any other day. I thought Sanchie was good. I liked what I saw."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.