"It's one game," Ausmus said. "I'm not going to start harping on him giving up home runs. It was one game."
The long ball is not prevalent in Sanchez's Detroit history. He gave up nine home runs over 182 innings in 2013, resulting in the best home-run rate in the American League. He actually improved that rate last year with four homers over 126 innings.
He hadn't given up multiple home runs in a game since the A's hit three in the 2013 AL Division Series. His last two-homer regular-season game was Sept. 9, 2012.
All that made Sanchez's Spring Training numbers look odd, even if they meant little. He gave up seven homers over 30 innings in Grapefruit League play. Five, however, came in two starts against the Phillies, three of them in Clearwater on March 29.
"Spring Training is totally different," Sanchez said. "You never have any kind of game plan for the games in Spring Training. Here, it's totally different."
He had just five balls hit out of the infield over 6 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Twins, one of them a Jordan Schafer double off the right-field wall. His first pitch Monday to Josh Harrison ended up out to right-center.
"I think Harrison was taking advantage of the fact that it was the start of the game, looking for a fastball," Ausmus said.
Gregory Polanco hit a third-inning double off the right-field scoreboard, setting up an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly, but Sanchez retired 12 straight from there, including five of his nine strikeouts. He kept the Tigers close against Gerrit Cole, and it nearly paid off in the seventh.