Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ex-teammates Anibal, Nolasco face off in Detroit

A pair of former Marlins teammates, Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco and Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez, are set to take the mound in the second game of the season for Minnesota and Detroit on Wednesday at Comerica Park. Nolasco and Sanchez remain close friends and went to dinner together Sunday night before Opening Day.
Things to know about the game:
• Right-hander Ervin Santana was scheduled to start for the Twins, but will miss the first 80 games of the season after being suspended for using a performance-enhancing drug. Nolasco will take the mound instead, which lines him up for Minnesota's home opener against the Royals on April 13. Nolasco is looking to bounce back after posting a 5.38 ERA in his first season with the Twins last year.
• Sanchez has been solid against the Twins since joining the Tigers, as he's posted a 2.60 ERA in 52 innings against them dating back to 2012. He nearly threw a no-hitter against them in '13, but Joe Mauer broke up the no-hit bid with a single in the ninth inning.
• Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez has hit Nolasco hard. The switch-hitter is 5-for-7 with two walks against him in his career. But Nolasco has fared well against former Marlins teammate Miguel Cabrera, as he's held the slugger to just two singles in nine at-bats.

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