NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Anibal Sanchez gave Detroit a much-needed quality start, and the Tigers snapped their four-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Austin Jackson and Andrew Romine homered for Detroit, and Ian Kinsler doubled three times against his former team. Sanchez (2-2) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings. He struck out five without a walk.
Scott Baker (0-1) allowed six runs and eight hits for the Rangers, who put Prince Fielder on the disabled list before the game with what is likely to be a season-ending neck problem.
Romine’s solo homer in the sixth was the first of his career.
The AL Central-leading Tigers were finally facing some adversity after allowing 31 runs in their previous four games. They 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.
Mitch Moreland opened the scoring for Texas with a two-run double, but Sanchez allowed only three 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.
Even Romine got in on the act, ending a 2-for-35 stretch with a homer down the line in right that gave the Tigers a 6-2 lead.
Kinsler, traded from Texas to Detroit for Fielder in an offseason blockbuster, scored three times. He came home on Hunter’s RBI groundout in the seventh.
NOTES: Rangers leadoff hitter Leonys Martin struck out three times. … Texas RHP Tanner Scheppers, on the DL since April 18 with elbow inflammation, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Double-A Frisco. … Detroit INF Danny Worth earned a decent amount of attention when he took the mound in the ninth inning of Thursday’s 9-2 loss to the Rangers and started throwing knuckleballs. Worth struck out two hitters, and manager Brad Ausmus said he’ll continue to be available in an emergency. “We talked to him today about throwing a pen every 10 to 14 days,” Ausmus said. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s an infielder, but if he can save our bullpen in a game like that, that would be great.” … Ausmus said Tigers RHP Luke Putkonen (elbow inflammation) is not expected to need surgery. … Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (7-1) faces Texas RHP Nick Martinez (0-1) on Saturday.
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