Sanchez does it again as Nats lose 5-1

DETROIT - The Nationals might have finally bested Anibal Sanchez back in May, handing the Tigers right-hander his first loss in 20 career starts against the Nats.

Tonight, Sanchez returned to his dominating ways, holding the Nats to a single run over seven strong innings in the Tigers’ 5-1 win here at Comerica Park.

The Nats notched a run and three hits off Sanchez in the first, but then posted just two hits against the 29-year-old over his final six innings of work.

Overall, the Nats went 3-for-24 with two walks from the second inning on.

Stephen Strasburg didn’t pitch horribly, but he got burned by a few mistake pitches, dropping him to 5-9 on the season.

Strasburg allowed five runs over seven innings, the big blow a grand slam off the bat of Alex Avila with two outs in the sixth that broke the game open.

The loss snaps the Nats’ modest three-game winning streak and drops them back to three games under .500.

Just as importantly, the Braves currently have a comfortable lead over the Rockies, and if that score holds, the Nats will trail Atlanta by 10 games in the division, their largest deficit this season.

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