Alex Avila’s first career grand slam broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning for the Tigers.
Avila sent a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right with two outs off Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. It was the first time Strasburg had given up a home run with more than one man on base.
The Tigers went on to beat the Nationals 5-1 on Tuesday night in front of 41880 at Comerica Park.
Anibal Sanchez allowed five hits two walks and one run over seven innings with one strikeout for the Tigers. Sanchez leads all active pitchers with at least 15 starts against the Nationals with a 1.99 ERA.
“It was what it was supposed to be a pretty good pitchers’ duel” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “Sanchy did what he had to do. You knew you weren’t going to get many. We finally opened it up with that big hit.
“You put four on the board with one swing of the bat that’s pretty good.”
Right-handed pitcher Jose Veras acquired in a trade from the Houston Astros on Monday for minor league outfielder Danry Vasque...