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Anibal exits early due to hamstring tightness

Injury not believed to be serious, will be re-evaluated Friday
MLB.com @beckjason

ARLINGTON -- One of the toughest challenges during Anibal Sanchez's Triple-A stint before returning to the Tigers' rotation was a left hamstring strain that forced him out of a start. It flared up again Wednesday night, forcing him out in the third inning of the Tigers' 12-6 loss to the Rangers.

Both Sanchez and manager Brad Ausmus said they don't think the injury is major. Sanchez will be re-evaluated Friday in Detroit following Thursday's off-day.

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ARLINGTON -- One of the toughest challenges during Anibal Sanchez's Triple-A stint before returning to the Tigers' rotation was a left hamstring strain that forced him out of a start. It flared up again Wednesday night, forcing him out in the third inning of the Tigers' 12-6 loss to the Rangers.

Both Sanchez and manager Brad Ausmus said they don't think the injury is major. Sanchez will be re-evaluated Friday in Detroit following Thursday's off-day.

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Sanchez said he felt the injury when he made a pickoff throw to first base following Adrian Beltre's leadoff single in the second inning. He gave up a Nomar Mazara home run immediately after that, and retired just four of his final 10 hitters.

"Every time I wanted to throw the ball down, especially the way I started the game, that's when I felt it pull," Sanchez said. "It wouldn't let me finish those pitches. I tried to be out there for a while, but I couldn't."

Sanchez gave up four runs on five hits, including Beltre's two-run homer with one out in the third inning. Sanchez fell behind on a 3-0 count to the next batter, Mazara, when head athletic trainer Kevin Rand went to the mound to check on him. The injury was clear enough that Sanchez did not attempt a warmup pitch before leaving.

Chad Bell replaced Sanchez, completing the Mazara at-bat and pitching 2 1/3 innings. Given Sanchez's struggles, he might not have been long for the game, regardless.

"I'm not really happy with what happened today, especially with my outing," Sanchez said. "I would like to be able to be on the field for a lot of innings, but I wasn't able to do that. That's really disappointing for me."

Injuries have played a role in Sanchez's struggles over the past few seasons, though not to this point this year. Most of the injuries have been arm-related, from rotator cuff inflammation two years ago to a right middle finger laceration in 2014 and a right shoulder strain in 2013. He has never had a significant leg injury in his Major League career.

Sanchez's turn in the rotation would come up next Wednesday against the Yankees. Thanks to two off-days coming up, the Tigers have the luxury of skipping his start and waiting until they need a fifth starter a week from Saturday against the White Sox in Chicago.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Detroit Tigers, Anibal Sanchez