Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)
Aaron Josefczyk
August 21, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) Aaron Sanchez is being sent to the minor leagues as Toronto skips a start to limit his innings.

Toronto optioned the 24-year-old right-hander to Class A Dunedin on Sunday, and the Blue Jays plan to recall him to start against Baltimore on Aug. 31.

Sanchez is 12-2 with a 2.99 ERA, fifth-best in the AL. He has made 24 starts and thrown a career-high 156 1/3 innings. He likely will not pitch in the minors.

''We've talked a lot about this over the year,'' Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. ''Not just over the last month, but as good as Aaron has become, we all along thought at some point we'll have to manage his workload. That's what this is about. He'll come right back in the rotation.''

Sanchez has struck out 132 and opponents are batting .230 against him. Left-hander Aaron Loup was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and will pitch out of the bullpen.

Sanchez pitched three hitless innings Saturday, then allowed Cleveland to tied the score with a five-run fourth and was pulled.

''Making this move was something we tried to stay away from, talking about innings being a concern,'' Sanchez said. ''I still have to get ready. It's not like my season's over. It's normal work when I go down there. Nothing changes for me.''

''The last few starts have been on seven or eight days (rest),'' he said. ''As a pitcher there's adjustments you have to make. I don't think I've forgotten how to pitch.''

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