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KC@LAA: Sanchez strikes out four in debut with Royals

Jonathan Sanchez's last outing was one he would prefer to forget. Luckily for the left-handed hurler, he'll get the opportunity to erase the memory sooner than expected.

Royals manager Ned Yost announced Tuesday that Sanchez will start Wednesday against the Tigers in place of Luke Hochevar, who gets an extra day to rest his sore ankle.

That means Sanchez will be starting on short rest after yielding five runs on six hits, four walks and a hit batsman against the Indians last Saturday. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings and threw 70 pitches.

Yost isn't concerned with his southpaw starting on short rest.

"A lot of times if you bring a guy back early it helps tighten his command up," Yost said. "We had a couple of different options. We could pitch Hoch on Wednesday or we could totally have him miss a start. Or bump Sanchez up to Wednesday, hopefully tighten his command up and give Hoch an extra day and a half before he has to start again."

Sanchez lost his only prior start against the Tigers, despite allowing just three runs in seven innings. He'll be opposed Wednesday by Max Scherzer, who has pitched on each end of the spectrum in his two outings.

In his first start, Scherzer departed after surrendering seven runs and eight hits while throwing 80 pitches in just 2 2/3 innings. On Friday, he struck out 11 while holding the White Sox to three runs in six frames. Oddly enough, the Tigers won his first start and lost his second outing.

In 10 career starts against the Royals, Scherzer is 4-4 with a 3.90 ERA.

Tigers: Cabrera earns praise for defense
• So much for all of the offseason banter speculating that Detroit's defense would be its Achilles' heel. The Tigers were second in the American League with a .995 fielding percentage after Tuesday's action.

Miguel Cabrera, who shifted back to third base after most of four seasons at first, has committed just one error.

"He has done a great job," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "There were four or five different types of plays [Monday] and he made every single one of them. He's my third baseman, and I love him to death."

• Brandon Inge hit a meaningful home run Monday, providing Tigers fans with a flashback.

The infielder hit 27 home runs in 2006 and 2009, two totals that appear to be outliers for a defensive-minded player, who hasn't hit more than 16 homers in any other season and clubbed just three homers in 102 games in 2011.

Inge's two-run tater in the fifth inning on Monday gave Detroit a lead it never relinquished.

"I'm trying to pound it," Inge said. "What that does is put you in more of an aggressive state of mind."

Royals: Hochevar won't miss a start
• Hochevar will pitch on Friday, one week after being hit in the ankle with a line drive off the bat of Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana. Hochevar gets an extra day to rest, with Sanchez pitching Wednesday on short rest.

"We feel that by Friday, Hoch will be 100 percent, or close to it," Yost said.

Hochevar will face the Blue Jays on Friday. In five career starts against Toronto, he is 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA.

Worth noting
• The Tigers do not have a first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. The Royals will have the fifth overall selection.

• With two hits in Monday's 3-2 loss to Detroit, Royals designated hitter Billy Butler moved into a tie with Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki for the third-most career hits off Justin Verlander. Both players have 16 hits against the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner.

Zack Meisel is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. Comments