ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Anibal Sanchez was knocked out of the game early Saturday night, the second time in three games a Tigers starter hasn’t made it out of the third against the Rangers.
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.
Andrus ended Sanchez’s night after 74 pitches with an RBI single that gave Texas a 6-2 lead.
Tigers ace Justin Verlander gave up eight runs in 2 2-3 innings in Detroit’s 10-4 loss to the Rangers on Thursday night.
“Sometimes you just don’t have it and you’re trying to do the best you could,” Detroit catcher Alex Avila said. “When guys have been as consistent as (Sanchez) has or like Justin has, everybody gets really worried. But I’m pretty confident he’ll have a pretty good start his next time around.”
Detroit has lost seven of 11 games and dropped a game behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
Sanchez was gone soon after that.
Moreland led off the bottom of the third with his 10th homer and Andrus’ run-scoring hit made it 6-2 and forced Sanchez out of the game.
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.
“It’s a bad outing,” Sanchez said. “I don’t have an excuse. We have to give credit to the team, they swung well.”
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.
The Texas shortstop admitted that he was swinging for a homer in his last at-bat against reliever Phil Coke
“(Adrian) Beltre told me to take three hard swings,” Andrus said. “Try to go yard. That’s what I did, but the pitch was down. But I’m really happy with a base hit.”
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.
After allowing two runs in the third, Grimm retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced and left to a standing ovation. He credited a pep talk from manager Ron Washington after the third inning for his success Saturday.
“Wash got me in the dugout and told me to trust my stuff,” Grimm said. “He kind of tapped me in the face and caught me off guard. Just hearing that he had confidence in me meant a lot.”
Andrus singled on Sanchez’s first pitch of the game, then stole second and advanced to third on 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. Hunter said that he lost the ball in the lights.
“I went to where I thought it was going to be and it wasn’t there,” Hunter said. “You can’t catch something you can’t see.”
Andrus scored on Sanchez’s throwing error and Lance Berkman capped the second inning with an RBI single.
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. . Kinsler missed his second straight game with bruised ribs, an injury that was aggravated after he was hit by a pitch from Verlander on Thursday night.
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