DETROIT -- Victor Martinez has clearly returned to health.
Detroit's designated hitter/first baseman entered the weekend with a healthy batting average but had not hit a home run since July 3.
Three-run home runs in back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday showed Martinez is recovered from the sore right side that put him out of action nearly two full weeks.
His third-inning, three-run blow into the Detroit bullpen completed a four-run frame that carried the Tigers to a 4-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies and a sweep of their three-game series.
Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (8-5) struck out a season-high 12 batters over seven two-hit innings. Setup right-hander Joba Chamberlain allowed a hit in the eighth and righty Joakim Soria another in the ninth as Detroit recorded its sixth shutout of the season.
"Martinez went down and got what I believe was a cutter low in the (strike) zone," said manager Walt Weiss, whose Rockies are missing three key regulars and have dropped seven of their last eight. "He's been having a good year.
"That was the one mistake Jorgie (left-hander Jorge De La Rosa) made. He's been pretty good at wriggling out of troubles."
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Martinez: "He never loses his focus. "Or his concentration. He never takes a second off when he's standing in the batter's box.
"He seems to look the way he looked the first three months of the season."
Martinez hit 21 home runs before the All-Star break but was out nearly two full weeks dealing with a sore right side that bothered his swing. He came back right after the break but went a total of 17 games without a home run until his three-run blast Saturday night.
"I was on a pace to hit, what, 100 home runs?" Martinez said. "You just need to stay focused when you hit the ball. Keep working on it. Keep working on it."
De La Rosa, 11-7 after the end of his five-game winning streak, allowed three of his six hits in the third inning. Center fielder Rajai Davis doubled, second baseman Ian Kinsler was hit by a pitch and first baseman Miguel Cabrera hit an RBI single up the middle prior to Martinez's 23rd home run of the year.
"For some reason he's struggled on the road," Weiss said of his starter. "He's been real good at home."
Colorado is missing shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Michael Cuddyer, both on the disabled list, and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, out the last two games with a right ankle sprain.
The Tigers made one error behind Sanchez but he did not walk a batter and thus faced just three over the minimum in his 117-pitch outing. It was the 10th time his career Detroit's career single-game strikeout record holder (17) has fanned 10 or more hitters in a game and fourth time with at least a dozen.
"I used my fastball a lot," Sanchez said. "That was the key to the story. You have great command of your fastball, your other pitches can work."
Sanchez has had trouble getting past the middle innings in recent starts and said he needed "to show I can stay longer in a game. That was big for me."
NOTES: Tigers RHP Joba Chamberlain returns to New York on Monday to possibly pitch for the first time against the team that brought him to the majors, the Yankees. Chamberlain signed with Detroit as a free agent in the offseason. ... A record-tying string of 20 consecutive starts by Colorado left-handers is slated to come to an end Wednesday when RHP Jordan Lyles returns to the Rockies' rotation. Kansas City holds the record of most straight starts by southpaws, 20 in 1982. ... Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera is tied for 63rd on baseball's all-time home run list with 382. His next one ties him with Larry Walker, who retired in 2005. ... A decision on whether Colorado RF Carlos Gonzalez will have to go on the disabled list because of his right ankle sprain is likely Tuesday. "I'm confident he's going to be OK," manager Walt Weiss said.