ARLINGTON, Texas — Elvis Andrus had a career-high five hits, Mitch Moreland homered and Texas roughed up Anibal Sanchez in the Rangers’ 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Andrus scored three runs, had two RBIs and stole a pair of bases as he hit leadoff for the second straight game in place of ailing second baseman Ian Kinsler. Andrus was a home run shy of the cycle and finished off his 5-for-5 game with a single to right in the eighth.
Moreland hit a solo shot off Sanchez leading off the third, his 10th home run of the season.
Sanchez (4-4) gave up a season-high six runs in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest start in almost two years. The right-hander yielded nine hits, walked two and struck out two as his ERA jumped from 2.05 to 2.77.
The Rangers (28-15) have the best record in the American League, one game better than the New York Yankees.
Texas starter Justin Grimm (3-3) gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings to snap a three-game losing streak. The rookie allowed seven hits and struck out two while throwing a career-high 105 pitches.
In his second career start last June, Grimm surrendered six runs and eight hits in one inning against the Tigers.
Detroit has lost seven of 11 games and dropped a game behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
Torii Hunter snapped an 0-for-15 slide with an RBI double and he scored two batters later on Prince Fielder’s single, bringing the Tigers within 4-2 in the third.
Kinsler missed his second straight game with bruised ribs, an injury that was aggravated after he was hit by a pitch from Justin Verlander on Thursday night.
Andrus singled on Sanchez’s first pitch of the game, then stole second and advanced to third on catcher Alex Avila’s throwing error. The Texas shortstop scored on Avila’s passed ball.
The Rangers extended their lead to 4-0 with three runs in the second.
Andrus got the inning going with an RBI triple that tipped the end of Hunter’s glove in right and he scored on Sanchez’s throwing error.
Lance Berkman capped the second inning with an RBI single.
Sanchez threw 32 pitches in each of the first two innings. This was his shortest start since going 1 2-3 innings Aug. 10, 2011, as a member of the Marlins.
Moreland led off the third with a 415-foot blast into the Detroit bullpen in left. It was Moreland’s seventh home run in May.
Andrus ended Sanchez’s night with an RBI single that stretched Texas’ lead to 6-2 with two outs in the third.
Berkman’s RBI double scored Andrus, who led off the sixth with a double.
NOTES: Texas RHP Colby Lewis (elbow) and C A.J. Pierzynski (strained right oblique muscle) will begin rehab assignments Monday for Double-A Frisco. Lewis was removed from his rehab stint earlier in the week with triceps tendinitis, but he threw on the field Saturday with no problems. . Detroit manager Jim Leyland said he expects OF Austin Jackson (strained right hamstring) to return from the disabled list when he is eligible May 27.
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