By NOAH TRISTER/AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Jhonny Peralta’s two-run double highlighted a five-run first inning for the Detroit Tigers, who went on to a 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
The Tigers scored four runs before making an out when their first six hitters reached base off Texas rookie Justin Grimm (7-7). Doug Fister (7-5) allowed two runs in the fourth but was otherwise sharp for Detroit.
Peralta, Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter had two hits apiece for the Tigers, and Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI double in the second that gave Detroit a 7-0 lead.
Miguel Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly for his 95th RBI of the year.
A.J. Pierzynski homered and had three hits for the Rangers.
The Rangers took three of four from the Tigers in Texas in May, scoring 28 runs in their three wins. It was Detroit that broke Friday’s game open early.
Jackson and Hunter started the bottom of the first with back-to-back doubles for a 1-0 lead, and after a walk to Cabrera and a single by Fielder, Martinez drew a walk to force in a run.
Peralta followed with a double to make it 4-0. After Andy Dirks struck out, Alex Avila’s single scored Martinez.
Jackson led off with a single in the second, and after advancing to third on a single by Hunter, he scored on Cabrera’s flyout.
One out later, Martinez doubled to left. The relay home appeared to beat Hunter, but the Detroit baserunner got his hand in with a nice slide.
Grimm allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings. Just when the right-hander appeared to be settling in finally, he had to come out of the game in the fourth because of a sore right forearm.
Fister allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out five.
Texas scored twice in the fourth on a solo homer by Pierzynski and an RBI single by Jurickson Profar. But the Rangers left the bases loaded that inning and never got a better chance to get back in the game.
Detroit was coming off a heated 6-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox in which reliever Luke Putkonen and manager Jim Leyland were ejected amid a bench-clearing altercation in the sixth inning. Leyland was more than ready to move on Friday, and the Tigers wasted little time delighting the home crowd in this matchup of the teams that have represented the American League in the World Series for the last three years.
Bruce Rondon, Detroit’s hard-throwing rookie reliever, came on to replace Fister and got four straight outs. He fanned Nelson Cruz on a 100-mph fastball to end the Texas seventh.
Drew Smyly got the next four outs for the Tigers, and Joaquin Benoit came on in a non-save situation and struck out Cruz with men on first and third to end it.
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