Justin Grimm turned in his best start this month, Elvis Andrus set his career-high with five hits and the Texas Rangers went on to a 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers have won two of the first three games of a four-game series. Two days after handing Justin Verlander his shortest outing of the season, the Rangers did the same courtesy to Anibal Sanchez.
The Rangers took an early lead in the first inning. Andrus led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error, and then scored on a wild pitch.
Texas extended its lead to 4-0 in the second. Andrus had an RBI triple and scored on a grounder by David Murphy, who reached and advanced to third on a throwing error by Sanchez. Lance Berkman drove in Murphy with a single to right.
Detroit cut the deficit in half with two runs in the third on RBI hits by Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder.
But the Rangers answered with two in the bottom half. Mitch Moreland led off with a solo homer, and Andrus added an RBI single that ended Sanchez’s night.
Sanchez, who entered with a 2.05 ERA, lasted only 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Texas added another run in the sixth on an RBI double by Berkman. Andrus singled to start the eighth inning for his fifth hit on the night, as he fell a homer shy of the cycle.
Grimm, who allowed five runs in each of his previous two starts, went through his usual by working out of jams seemingly every inning.
Grimm broke his streak of 11 consecutive innings with at least one base runner with a 1-2-3 fourth inning. That was his only clean inning of the night, although he retired the first two batters of the seventh inning before Michael Kirkman relieved him.
Still, Grimm pitched well and won for the first time since April 26. He allowed two runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.-- Drew Davison