But there may be two things preventing the 28-year-old from doing so.
The first -- and the biggest problem as of late -- is run support. Sanchez has allowed four earned runs in his last 20 innings -- three starts -- but has an 0-2 record to show for it. The Tigers' offense provided four runs combined in those games, and Detroit lost each game by one run.
Most recently, Sanchez gave up three runs on seven hits in seven innings against the Angels on Sunday. Despite the three runs, Tigers manager Jim Leyland thought it was the best Sanchez has pitched since joining the club at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July.
"He had better velocity. He got the ball down. His stuff was overall just better," Leyland said. "He got better as it went along, but he threw the ball great. ... I really like him a lot."
The second thing working against Sanchez is that his offense will be facing Indians right-hander Justin Masterson, and the Detroit bats haven't been able to get the "big hit" off him recently.
Facing Detroit on Sept. 4, Masterson went six innings and gave up two runs on four hits, with the only damage coming on a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera. Also on Masterson's resume, however, is a four-inning, 10-hit, seven-run performance on Aug. 3.
"We've seen two different kinds of Mastersons this year," catcher Alex Avila said after the Sept. 4 game. "The guy we saw [in August], they were able to get a hold of, and the guy with the No. 1, no-hit kind of stuff [we saw] today."
The Tigers will certainly hope for the August version of Masterson, especially in the thick of a pennant race. They go into Saturday's contest one game behind the White Sox in the division.
Tigers: Young to sit vs. Masterson
Leyland has announced that outfielder/designated hitter Delmon Young will not be in the lineup against Masterson. Young struggles with Masterson's unique delivery and is 3-for-20 with five strikeouts against him in his career.
With Thursday night's game against the White Sox rained out and rescheduled for Monday, Leyland had to do some juggling with his rotation. He elected to start Doug Fister on Monday, allowing Max Scherzer to keep his extra day of rest. Scherzer will pitch the opener vs. Oakland.
Avisail Garcia and Bruce Rondon were named the Tigers' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the year, respectively. Garcia hit .299 with 14 home runs, 58 RBIs and 23 stolen bases between Class A Lakeland and Double-A Erie. Rondon recorded 29 saves while posting a 1.53 ERA between Lakeland, Erie and Triple-A Toledo.
Indians: Cabrera, Brantley could return for weekend series
Both Asdrubal Cabrera (sprained right wrist) and Michael Brantley (strained left pectoral muscle) were out of the lineup on Friday. It was the fifth straight game for Cabrera and the second straight for Brantley, but the two could be back to face Detroit.
"Asdrubal is doing better," manager Manny Acta said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to have him by the end of this weekend. ... Brantley is much improved. Same way: I'm shooting that by the end of the weekend, especially toward Sunday."
Left-hander David Huff, scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Twins, will be limited to around 75 or 80 pitches.
Masterson will have his hands full with Cabrera, who is a career .440 hitter against him, going 11-for-25 with two home runs and nine RBIs.
With Friday night's victory, the Tigers are 2-5 against the Indians at Progressive Field this season. They were swept in a three-game series from May 22-24, and lost two of three from July 24-26. It was also Verlander's first win in Cleveland this year.
Although his record doesn't indicate it, Sanchez has performed much better on the road. He has a 3.46 ERA away vs. a 4.79 ERA at home -- counting the games he pitched for the Marlins. And with Marlins Park and Comerica Park being two of the friendlier stadiums for pitchers, he's allowed 13 home runs away compared with six at home.
Masterson's splits are even more severe. The 27-year-old has a 6.36 ERA on the road, but 3.74 at Progressive Field.