Anibal Sanchez approached the dugout with the crowd at Comerica Park roaring its approval, then he took off his hat to acknowledge the fans.
Aware of his pitch count, he realized his night was probably done — but what an evening it was.
Sanchez struck out 17 in eight marvelous innings for Detroit, confounding the Atlanta Braves in a dazzling performance Friday night and leading the Tigers to a 10-0 victory. Sanchez broke Mickey Lolich’s team record of 16 strikeouts when he fanned three in the eighth inning.
‘‘It’s hard to get much better than that,’’ manager Jim Leyland said.
Sanchez threw 121 pitches in those eight innings, so there would be no return for the ninth to try to match Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood with 20 strikeouts. In fact, Leyland said he was ready to take Sanchez out after the seventh before letting him pitch a bit longer.
Sanchez was asked about his new place in franchise history. The Tigers have been around for over a century, and nobody has had a game quite like this.
‘‘Amazing,’’ Sanchez said. ‘‘I'm just going to keep working. That’s not going to stop today.’’
Nationals 1, Reds 0 — Jordan Zimmermann was terrific in his second complete game of the season and host Washington limited Cincinnati to one hit for the second straight game.
Zimmermann (4-1) struck out four and walked one while improving to 3-0 with a 1.36 ERA against Cincinnati. The righthander needed only 91 pitches to record his third career complete game.
It was the first time the Reds managed just one hit in consecutive games since July 5-6, 1900, against Brooklyn, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Phillies 4, Mets 0 — Kyle Kendrick pitched the best game of his career, throwing a three-hitter and getting home run help from Ryan Howard to lead Philadelphia in New York.
The Phillies ended their three-game skid and dropped the Mets under .500 for the first time this season.
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 4 — David Phelps struck out a career-high nine in four innings after relieving the injured Ivan Nova, Chris Stewart threw out two base runners to quash potential rallies as an emergency fill-in for Francisco Cervelli, and host New York beat Toronto.
Lyle Overbay hit a go-ahead RBI triple and Vernon Wells had a sacrifice fly off Aaron Laffey in an inning where the fill-in starter for Josh Johnson walked four.
White Sox 5, Rays 4 — Jake Peavy pitched well into the seventh and Chicago supported him with three homers to rally from a three-run deficit and beat visiting Tampa Bay.
Peavy (3-1) gave up home runs to Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria and fell behind 3-0 in the fourth, but the White Sox overpowered Rays starter Roberto Hernandez (1-4) for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Cardinals 9, Pirates 1 — Lance Lynn pitched seven innings of one-run ball to extend his winning streak to nine games and Carlos Beltran homered from both sides of the plate and drove in three runs to lead host St. Louis over Pittsburgh in a game that saw two Pirates and their manager ejected.
Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez (0-3) failed to make it through an inning. He and manager Clint Hurdle were ejected after Sanchez hit Cardinals cleanup hitter Allen Craig with a pitch.
Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 3 — Troy Tulowitzki’s bases-loaded triple in the fifth inning helped lift Colorado over Arizona in Phoenix.
The Rockies (15-8) remained in first place in the NL West with the victory.
Rangers 4, Twins 3 — Adrian Beltre homered and rookie Justin Grimm won his second consecutive start and Texas won in Minneapolis.
Orioles 3, Athletics 0 — Wei-Yin Chen pitched eight strong innings, giving up only two hits to help visiting Baltimore beat Oakland.
Dodgers 7, Brewers 5 — Adrian Gonzalez drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-out double in the seventh inning, Carl Crawford homered and host Los Angeles beat Milwaukee.
Padres 2, Giants 1 — Andrew Cashner pitched six effective innings and contributed a big hit at the plate, helping host San Diego beat Tim Lincecum and San Francisco.
Cubs 4, Marlins 2 — Anthony Rizzo had two home runs and four RBIs to power Chicago over host Miami for back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
. . .
The Cleveland Indians-Kansas City Royals game was rained out at Kauffman Stadium and will be made up on Sunday as a day-night doubleheader.