DETROIT – Ian Kinsler enjoyed this win over his former team, even if he tried to downplay that narrative afterward.
They’re my former club, but I’m a Tiger now, and it’s just about winning games. It really doesn’t matter who it’s against, Kinsler said. It’s more fun, because I know those guys and they’re friends, and it’s always fun to beat friends, but other than that, I’m a Tiger, and I’m trying to win for this club.
Kinsler doubled three times and scored three runs, and Detroit snapped its four-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night. Kinsler was traded from Texas to the Tigers in an offseason blockbuster that sent Prince Fielder to the Rangers. Fielder was put on the disabled list before the game with what is likely to be a season-ending neck problem.
Austin Jackson and Andrew Romine homered for Detroit, and Anibal Sanchez (2-2) gave up two runs and five hits over seven innings. He struck out five without a walk.
Scott Baker (0-1) gave up six runs and eight hits for the Rangers in six innings.
The AL Central-leading Tigers were finally facing some adversity after allowing 31 runs in their previous four games. Their recent road trip included travel problems and a 13-inning loss at Cleveland on Wednesday. Then they came home and played a day game Thursday against Texas, losing 9-2.
We probably were a little bit tired, but that’s no excuse for this ballclub, and tonight we just looked sharper, Kinsler said. We looked well rested and ready to play.
The Tigers fell behind again when Sanchez allowed two runs in the second, but Baker didn’t hold the lead for long.
Jackson tied it with a two-run homer in the second, and Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera started the Detroit third with back-to-back doubles. Detroit scored two more runs in the fifth on an RBI double by Kinsler and a run-scoring grounder by Torii Hunter.
Sanchez, who won the 2013 ERA title in the American League, hadn’t made it through seven innings this season before Friday. This was his second start since missing around three weeks with a finger injury on his throwing hand.
He pitched a really good game, especially once he got into a rhythm after the second, Rangers manager Ron Washington said. We didn’t do a thing against him after that. He had a good breaking ball and he was keeping everything down.
Mitch Moreland opened the scoring for Texas with a two-run double, but Sanchez allowed only two harmless singles after that. Baker, the 10th pitcher to start a game for the Rangers already this season, couldn’t hold off the Tigers in the middle innings.