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Aníbal Sánchez impresses vs Twins; but mistake costs him in Nationals’ 5-0 loss

Aníbal Sánchez took a no-hit bid into the fifth, and a shutout bid into the seventh, but gave up a big blast that was all the Twins needed...

Washington Nationals v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Aníbal Sánchez had a 17-outing unbeaten streak, (over which he was 8-0 with a 3.16 ERA, 28 walks, 77 Ks, and a .225/.286/.356 in 94 IP), snapped in his last start, when he gave up eight hits (three home runs) and seven earned runs in five innings of work in an 8-4 loss to the NY Mets.

“When you’ve got that kind of lineup that you face, you’ve got to execute the pitches and make it happen,” Sanchez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the loss.

“Today, the ball was a little bit high and they took advantage of that. A lot of first pitch (hits) and they put it in play.”

“He was up,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said.

“He was up a little bit. He threw one ball over someone’s head, and that’s not him. He just made couple mistakes, but other than that he settled down.”

Looking to bounce back in last night’s outing against the Minnesota Twins, Sánchez worked around a walk for four scoreless and hitless on 49 pitches to start the opener in Target Field.

Willlians Astudillo lined an 0-2 sinker to right for a two-out single in the fifth, connecting for the first hit off the Nationals’ starter, but Sánchez stranded the second baserunner that was able to reach base through five scoreless.

Sánchez worked around a one-out double by Luis Arraez in a 19-pitch sixth which left him at 83 pitches overall, but a leadoff double by Eddie Rosario started the bottom of the seventh, and Mitch Garver followed with a two-run blast on an 0-1 slider that the Nats’ starter left up, which was also about a plate away from catcher Yan Gomes’s target.

The two-run blast made it 2-0 Twins. Sánchez finished up the seventh, but was done for the night at that point in what ended up a 5-0 loss.

Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 94 P, 61 S, 4/8 GO/FO.

Sánchez threw 61 pitches for strikes, and got 10 swinging strikes out of 94 pitches, eight between his two and four-seam fastballs, and 16 called strikes, with no more than five on any one of the seven different pitches he threw according to BaseballSavant.com.

“He was really good,” Sánchez’s manager said after the game. “Really, really good today. Just threw one ball up and they got him.”

“I just want to make that pitch in the dirt,” Sánchez told reporters, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty. “Just one mistake in the whole night, and I paid for it.”

He matched Twins’ starter José Berríos through six scoreless, but Berríos got through the seventh, while Sánchez made one big mistake in the bottom of the inning.

“One of the two teams has to win,” Sánchez said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“One of the pitchers has to make a mistake. I did, and I paid for it.”