Sanchez solid again, but offense falters

Sanchez solid again, but offense falters

Sanchez solid again, but offense falters
CLEVELAND -- A little support could go a long way for Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

The trouble is Miami hasn't given him much all year. And Saturday was more of the same.

Jeanmar Gomez threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings and Asdrubal Cabrera belted a home run to lift the Indians to a 2-0 win over the Marlins in front of 29,799 at Progressive Field.

Sanchez once again threw well enough to win, but ended up on the losing end. The right-hander gave up two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He entered the game receiving 2.85 runs of support in each of his starts.

In all eight of his starts, Sanchez has not allowed more than three earned runs. Dating back to 2011, in the right-hander's last 16 starts he hasn't allowed more than three earned runs. Yet he is 2-2 this year, and he has won a total of four of those games.

"He might not talk to his teammates," manager Ozzie Guillen said jokingly.

But Guillen quickly noted that it is difficult to not cash in on quality starts.

"It's kind of hard," the manager said. "We wasted another good start, good pitching. I'm not going to take this game as a negative game. We've been playing great."

The Indians rebounded from a 3-2 loss on Friday night to even the Interleague series, with the series finale on Sunday. Miami is 2-2 on the road trip, with both loses being by shutout.

For the season, the Marlins have been blanked five times.

"[Sanchez] can only do what he's capable of doing," catcher John Buck said. "I think he knows. He's professional enough, and he's been around long enough to know in order for him to win, he's got to keep doing what he's doing. That's not worrying about getting run support or not, or whatever. It's kind of out of his hands. He needs to keep on doing what he's doing. I think if he does that for the full course of the year, I believe he will be on the better side more than he is not, because he's been pitching really well."

After the game, Miami announced it was optioning first baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple-A New Orleans. An All-Star in 2011, Sanchez is hitting .197 with one home run and 11 RBIs.

Although the Marlins have had trouble scoring, they boast a 13-5 record in May.

Anibal Sanchez has been victimized by not much offense. But the veteran isn't pointing fingers.

"Like I've said before, I don't have a complaint about it," said the pitcher, who boasts a 2.32 ERA. "I just try to do my job. I just keep pitching and throw the ball down and keep the score. If I allow some runs, I need to keep the score really low, and wait for the hitters to react. That happens. That's baseball."

The Marlins were limited to three hits on Saturday, and Chris Perez locked up the save with three straight strikeouts looking. Perez threw 10 pitches, with nine strikes in collecting his 13th save.

The Marlins are now 136-118 all-time in Interleague Play.

Gomez limited the Marlins to three hits, and he ran his personal string of scoreless innings to 16 dating back to May 9.

In the third inning, Sanchez was able to work out of a no-out situation with runners on first and second. But in the fourth inning, the Indians grabbed the lead on Cabrera's leadoff homer. The shortstop turned on a two-strike sinker, and deposited it over the wall in right field for his fifth home run of the season.

It was the fourth home run Sanchez has allowed in eight starts.

"One of the few times where you'll see Sanchez make a mistake," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He missed in the wrong spot there and Asdrubal made him pay for it. I'm glad he didn't miss it because Sanchez is just terrific.

"He's a tough guy to try to have a plan against because he throws any pitch, in any count, at anytime. That's what makes him so good. And his pitches are good, too. He can add or subtract as good as anybody. He can go from a nice changeup in the low 80s to get the ball at 93, 94 and spot it."

The fourth inning appeared to slip away from Sanchez when he hit Travis Hafner with a pitch, and Carlos Santana singled to center. But the threat of a big inning was avoided when Michael Brantley tapped into a 5-4-3 double play and Jose Lopez lined out to first.

In the fifth, the Indians tacked on a run on Jason Kipnis' sacrifice fly, which scored Shelley Duncan, who reached on an infield single.

The only time the Marlins had a runner in scoring position was the third, when Bryan Petersen was stranded at third.

"Very flat," Guillen said of the performance. "We couldn't get anything going. I think their kid pitched well. I'm not going to take any credit away from him. Today [we were] a little different ballclub today. We were a little flat. I am not going to say we were down. But when the pitcher dominates you, and you can't get any offense, it feels that way. You don't score any runs."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.