DETROIT – Anibal Sanchez was having enough trouble keeping the ball in the park. Then he went up against the major league leaders in home runs.
Evan Gattis and Preston Tucker both homered off Sanchez in the sixth inning, and the Houston Astros slugged their way to another victory Sunday, rallying past the Detroit Tigers 10-8.
"I thought all my pitches were working well today. Even the two homers were both down — really down — and they just put good swings on them," Sanchez said. "[Gattis] was a slider down, and the other guy hit a changeup that was down. You have to give them credit."
Sanchez has given up 11 home runs this year — he gave up 13 in 2013 and 2014 combined.
The AL West-leading Astros have hit a major league-leading 64 home runs. They won the last two games of this four-game series to salvage a split.
The Astros trailed 7-3 before scoring four runs in the sixth, including Tucker's three-run shot as a pinch hitter that tied the score. The following inning, Jason Castro lined a tiebreaking two-run single with the bases loaded and two out.
Joe Thatcher (1-1) got the win by pitching the sixth — the first of four innings of work by the Houston bullpen. Luke Gregerson allowed a homer to Miguel Cabrera in the ninth but held on for his 12th save in 13 chances.
Detroit reliever Alex Wilson (1-1) took the loss.
Detroit — which fell into third place in the AL Central, percentage points behind the Twins — led 5-3 after a wild first inning. Sanchez and Houston starter Roberto Hernandez settled in a bit after that, but both were out of the game by the bottom of the sixth.
"If we score eight runs, we have to win the ballgame," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.