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MIN@DET: Sanchez fans eight over 6 2/3 innings

In a potential preview for the playoffs, the Tigers welcome the Athletics for a four-game series on Monday at Comerica Park. Detroit is coming off a sweep, while the A's have lost four of their last five games.

A.J. Griffin will toe the rubber for Oakland, looking for his first win since July 29. It will be his first start against the Tigers since pitching Game 4 of the American League Division Series last October.

Griffin has allowed a Major League-leading 30 home runs this season, and the walks are suddenly piling up, too, with 15 issued in his last three starts.

"Trying to be more careful, not give into guys as much," said Griffin. "That's where the walks are coming from."

The Tigers will send out Anibal Sanchez, who leads the AL with a 2.45 ERA and has shaved nearly half a run off his ERA since the All-Star break, allowing eight runs on 36 hits over 47 2/3 innings. He gave up one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings in his last start but was stuck with a no-decision.

"I didn't have anything special today," Sanchez said. "It was more my command. I think every pitch was working today."

Tigers: Iglesias misses second game
Jose Iglesias was out of the Tigers' lineup for the second straight game on Sunday as he continues to deal with soreness above his left elbow after he was hit by a pitch in Friday's game.

Iglesias couldn't bend his arm on Saturday while battling some swelling and soreness. The shortstop is batting .454 with two doubles and three runs in his last six games.

• Alex Avila was back behind the plate on Sunday during a rehab game with Triple-A Toledo as he recovers from a concussion. Avila had a single in three at-bats and scored a run Sunday. He served as the Mud Hens' designated hitter on Saturday, going 0-for-3. He caught three innings on Thursday, but he left the game with a headache.

Athletics: Slumping Cespedes gets breather
Yoenis Cespedes has been struggling at the plate for the past week and was given the day off Sunday.

"He's just having a little tough time right now," manager Bob Melvin said. "When you're grinding as hard as some guys are at this point of time in the season, and you're struggling some, sometimes a day off -- mentally just as much physically -- you can benefit by it."

Melvin said one of Cespedes' issues is that he's been overaggressive at times and pitchers are adjusting to him. In his past six games, Cespedes is 4-for-26 (.154) with one walk and 10 strikeouts.

• Melvin said he expects catcher Stephen Vogt to be back in the lineup on Monday after sitting out the past two games. Melvin decided to give Vogt some rest after taking some foul balls in the previous Seattle series.

Worth noting
• Seth Smith is batting .375 with two home runs against Sanchez in 16 career at-bats.

• Since returning from the disabled list, Omar Infante is hitting .388 with six runs scored and three RBIs in 12 games. Comments