Anibal Sanchez lasted only one-third of an inning in Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic opener Thursday — the Detroit Tigers’ starting pitcher was pulled after a rain delay halted a Dominican Republic rally in the first.
After Sanchez’s Tigers teammate Miguel Cabrera ended the top of the first with a fly out to center, Sanchez allowed a leadoff single to Jose Reyes. He then made an error on a Erick Aybar sacrifice bunt attempt and gave up a Robinson Cano two-RBI double.
But the Dominican Republic did not stop there.
Sanchez managed to slow the bleeding with a strikeout of Edwin Encarnacion, but Hanley Ramirez then reached on a fielder’s choice as shortstop Elvis Andrus attempted to cut down Cano at third. Nelson Cruz brought Cano home with a single, then Sanchez walked Carlos Santana to load the bases.
The umpires called for the tarp to be put on the field at that point. Cesar Jimenez replaced Sanchez on the mound when the teams retook the field. Jimenez managed to get out of the jam by inducing Ricardo Nanita to hit into a 9-2 double play — Carlos Gonzalez caught Nanita’s fly ball, then gunned Hanley Ramirez at the plate.