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Sanchez misses no-hitter as Tigers maul Twins

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez throws to the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez throws to the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball

(Reuters) - Detroit's Anibal Sanchez was denied a no-hitter but still struck out 12 batters in a pitching gem as the Tigers sent the Minnesota Twins crashing to their 10th straight defeat with a 6-0 victory on Friday.

Sanchez was heading towards a second career no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning before Joe Mauer punched a single up the middle to deny the Venezuelan a chance to become the 28th pitcher in Major League history with multiple no-hitters.

The win catapulted the Tigers (27-19) back to the top of the American League Central, in front of the Cleveland Indians (27-20), while Minnesota (18-27) remain rooted to the bottom.

Detroit's charge up the standings was aided by Boston's John Lackey, who also pitched an impressive game to lead the Red Sox to an 8-1 victory over the Indians.

Lackey allowed just two hits and one unearned run over seven innings, striking out eight, while Mike Carp helped the offence with a three-run homer in the second.

Boston improved to 29-20 to keep pace with the Yankees (29-18) in the American League East after the Bronx Bombers proved too strong for Tampa Bay (24-23) in a 9-4 win.

However, it was not all good news for the Yankees, who lost Curtis Granderson and pitcher David Phelps to injuries after both were struck by fast-moving balls.

Granderson suffered a hand fracture and will be sidelined for at least a month while Phelps has some bad bruising but should be on the mound for his next scheduled start.

In the National League, World Series champions San Francisco fell out of a three-way tie at the top of the West division with a 5-0 loss to Colorado, who remain level with Arizona after the Diamondbacks beat San Diego (21-26) 5-2.

The Rockies and Diamondbacks improved to 27-21 while the Giants slipped back to 26-22 with the loss.

Washington pitcher Jordan Zimmermann grabbed an eighth win of the season as his Nationals (25-23) took down Philadelphia (23-25) 5-2.

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Del Mar, California; Editing by John O'Brien)

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