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DET@CLE: Anibal fans four in strong return from DL

Making his third start back from the disabled list, Anibal Sanchez will take the mound for the Tigers when they face the Royals after the All-Star break. He will be opposed by Royals right-hander Ervin Santana in the first game of their three-game series Friday.

Sanchez is 7-6 with a 2.93 ERA in 15 starts and is 1-0 in the first two games after missing three weeks with a shoulder strain.

He gave up a grand slam in his last start against the White Sox, but said he's more concerned about getting healthy.

"I think the more important thing is this is my second start back from the DL," Sanchez said after the game. "Everything is there, so I just have to work a little bit more with my command."

Santana also struggled with his command in his last start and is looking for a better outing following his shortest appearance of the season when he pitched five innings, allowing 10 hits and eight runs against the Yankees on July 11, including a four-run fifth. He escaped that inning, but gave up back-to-back singles to start the sixth, which prompted his early exit. Prior to that start, he'd pitched at least six innings in all 17 starts as a Royal, with seven or more innings in 12 games.

"If you've watched Ervin all year long, he's been a guy that goes deep into games -- six and seven innings," manager Ned Yost said after the game. "He usually finds ways to make a big pitch when he needs to. ... He got through [the fifth], and I wanted him to regroup and get us through the sixth, but once those two guys got on, I had to make the move. I know he's capable of doing it."

Santana is 5-6 with a 3.37 ERA in 18 starts this season. He's facing Detroit for the first time this season and looking for his first victory against them since June 5, 2009, when he was with the Angels. He's 6-3 in his career against the Tigers with a 3.59 ERA in 11 starts. He was 0-1 in three games last season.

As a team, the Royals hold a 3-2 advantage against the Tigers this season, splitting a two-game series in Detroit and going 2-1 at home. However, the Tigers hold an eight-game lead over the Royals in the American League Central heading into the series.

The Royals are coming off a five-game losing streak before the break, which dropped them to six games under .500. They're even at home, though, going 22-22.

They'll have their work cut out for them with the Tigers, who defeated the Rangers, 5-0, on Sunday with three solo homers, including back-to-back blasts by Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta in the fourth inning.

Royals: Getz, Herrera to return
The Royals plan to recall infielder Chris Getz and reliever Kelvin Herrera from Triple-A Omaha for Friday's game. The club optioned infielder Johnny Giavotella and reliever Everett Teaford to Omaha on Thursday to clear space on the active roster.

Getz has started 41 games at second base for Kansas City this year and hit .214 with a .562 OPS, but he hit .313 in 14 games for Omaha. Since his season debut for Kansas City on June 30, Giavotella was hitting .206 (7-for-34) over 10 starts at second.

Herrera has posted a 5.20 ERA and surrendered eight home runs in 27 2/3 innings with the Royals this season, but the right-hander had given up two runs over 18 innings between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. The left-handed Teaford appeared in his only game on July 14, pitching a scoreless two-thirds of an inning.

Tigers: Martinez and Hunter hot in July
Torii Hunter and Martinez added to their already impressive July resumes with home runs against Texas on Sunday in the first and fourth innings, respectively.

Hunter, one of six players picked to represent the Tigers in the All-Star Game, is batting .411 (23-for-56) with 12 runs, four doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBIs in 13 games.

Martinez is batting .393 (22-for-56) with 10 runs, six doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs in 14 games.

Worth noting
• Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain has hit safely in his last six games, going 6-for-22.

• It's been a season-high eight games since Kansas City's last error. The previous streak lasted the first seven games of the season.

• Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera leads the Major Leagues with 132 hits through 94 games. Those are the most by a Tiger since Al Kaline had 136 in the first 93 games in 1955. Comments