Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DANA WAKIJI  |  Last updated 9/6/13
That's one way to get rid of the bad taste left from taking a beating from the Boston Red Sox -- administer a beating of your own the next time you play. The Detroit Tigers (82-59) had Thursday off to think about their 20-4 loss in Boston and they decided to take out their frustration on the Kansas City Royals (73-68). The Tigers scored 16 runs on a season-high 26 hits in a 16-2 victory over the Royals, surprising because it came against Royals ace James Shields. Anibal Sanchez really didn't need that much support. He allowed just one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out five in seven innings. "You don't like these kinds either way, whether you're the winner or the loser, but they do happen, just like the one that happened to us the other night," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told FOX Sports Detroit's John Keating on the post-game show. "It's just the way it goes. We can talk about the hits 'til the cows come home but Sanchez, in my opinion, he shut their offense down and that's the key to the game." Sanchez is now 13-7 and lowered his AL-leading ERA to 2.61. The 13 wins tie his career high, set in 2010 with the Florida Marlins. "He did a great job of keeping focused," catcher Alex Avila told Keating on the field after the game. "It's very tough to stay focused in these types of games, especially for a pitcher when he's sitting, to still be able to mix in his pitches and still pitch to his game plan, not according to the score. He did a very good job." Sanchez is now 6-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his last 11 starts, which is exactly what the Tigers need from him down the stretch. As for the 26 hits, five came from Omar Infante and five came from Andy Dirks. Every Tigers starter got at least one hit. "I don't really know how many times this happened in baseball, two guys got five hits in the same game," Leyland said. "Dirksy and him had five hits. It was just one of those games where Jamie just didn't have it tonight and we were able to take advantage of that." Infante drove in a career-best six runs and lifted his average to .328. Infante is batting .341 with 20 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 40 RBIs in his last 85 games. Dirks, a Kansas native playing in front of family and friends, scored four runs and drove in another. "I think that was just one of those things when I hit it, it went in the holes," Dirks told Keating. "You have nights like that and you have nights that go the other way, too." Shields came into the game with a 3.03 ERA and left with a 3.43 ERA after giving up 10 runs on 14 hits in just 3 23 innings. "I actually went back and looked at the video and a lot of pitches they were hitting were below the strike zone," Shields said. "That was a terrible job by me. "That's probably the best-hitting team in the league right now so just gotta tip your cap and move on." Just like the Tigers quickly moved on after the debacle in Boston. "I don't even remember that game," Dirks said. The 20-4 loss and the 16-2 win counted as one loss and one win, but Sanchez's pitching and Infante and Dirks' offensive output could count more as long as they continue.
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