DETROIT (AP) — Anibal Sanchez beat his former team for his third win in four starts, Juan Soto hit his 14th home run of the season and the Washington Nationals beat the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Friday night.
Sanchez (4-6), who went 46-49 for the Tigers from 2012-17, was facing his old team for the first time. He allowed six hits and struck out eight in six innings.
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth and recorded his first save of the season.
Daniel Norris (2-7) was removed the game after five innings with a cut on his pitching thumb.
Soto opened the scoring in the second inning with a 418-foot solo homer into the right-field seats.
Adam Eaton’s two-out single in the fifth scored Victor Robles to make it 2-0. Howie Kendrick’s RBI double scored Soto in the eighth.
Nick Castellanos accounted for Detroit’s run in the bottom of the fifth with his eighth homer of the season, a 436-foot drive to center. Castellanos has hit safely in 30 of his last 34 games.
The Nationals have won four straight and at 41-40 moved above .500 for the first time since they were 9-8 on April 18.
The Tigers have lost eight in a row. Detroit scored one run for the third straight game. The Tigers are last in the major leagues with 266 runs scored.
Nationals: The Nationals reinstated 1B Ryan Zimmerman from the 10-Day Injured List. Zimmerman missed 53 games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Washington optioned outfielder Michael A. Taylor to Double-A Harrisburg.
Tigers: Detroit placed RHP Spencer Turnbull (right shoulder fatigue) on the 10-day IL and recalled OF Victor Reyes from Triple-A Toledo.
Nationals: Right-hander Austin Voth (0-0) faces Detroit in the second game of this series.
Tigers: Detroit has yet to name a starter for Saturday’s game against the Nationals.