Sanchez (6-2) threw seven strong innings Friday night, giving up just one run and five hits, while striking out a career-high seven, to lead the Marlins to a 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The loss was Milwaukee's eighth straight.
The win was important for the Marlins, who had dropped two straight games after reeling off a nine-game winning streak that had pushed them back into the National League wild card race.
Making his 12th start, Sanchez did not give up a hit until Prince Fielder had a broken-bat single in the fourth. In his last five starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA. Taylor Tankersley pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Joe Borowski gave up a solo homer to Laynce Nix before getting the final three outs for his 32nd save in 36 chances.
"I know I have to show that, because I want to make the rotation next year," Sanchez said. "I don't want to go back to the minor leagues."
Marlins manager Joe Girardi said Sanchez threw the best game of his career.
"It's got to be a pleasure to play behind him and a pleasure to umpire behind him," Girardi said. "He goes out there and throws strikes."
Brewers manager Ned Yost said Sanchez is "special young pitcher."
"He does something you don't see a lot of young pitchers do and that is control himself on the mound," Yost said. "He's a true pitcher out there at a very young age. "
Chris Capuano (11-9) pitched seven innings for the Brewers and suffered his fifth loss in six decisions since he made the National League All-Star team. He gave up three runs and five hits, while striking out seven.
With the score tied 1-1, Wes Helms doubled with one out in the seventh inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch. One out later, Cody Ross, who came into the game with just two hits in his last 18 at-bats, hit a 2-1 pitch over the leftfield wall for his ninth home run of the season.
Ross said he was guessing that Capuano would throw a fastball, and that's what he hit for the home run.
"I figured he might throw it, and luckily I got good wood on it," Ross said.
Capuano said he threw Ross an inside fastball, similar to one he had success getting Ross out earlier in the game.
"It was totally my fault to throw him a 2-1 pitch where he could get good wood on it," he said.
Helms' sacrifice fly in the fourth inning gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
The Brewers tied the score at 1-1 in the sixth inning. Hart doubled with one out, the first runner to reach second base against Sanchez. Tony Graffanino followed with a fly down the right-field line. Ross tried to make a sliding catch, but the ball got by him and Hart scored. Graffanino ended up at third with a triple.
Milwaukee was 0-7 on a road trip to Florida and Houston. The Marlins swept the Brewers in a four-game series last weekend. The eight-game losing streak matches the Brewers' worst this season set from May 28 to June 4.
Capuano picked Sanchez off first base after the Florida pitcher singled in the third inning. It was Capuano's sixth pick off of the season. ... Third baseman Miguel Cabrera was back in the starting lineup after missing Thursday's game when he was drilled just above the elbow by a Jason Marquis fastball in the third inning of Wednesday's 13-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Cabrera was 0-for-4 ... Helms hit a double and sacrifice fly in his first trip to Miller Park since he left Brewers as a free agent following the 2005 season. ... The ninth-inning home run was Nix's first of the season. His last homer came on July 1, 2005, at Seattle.