Andrus leads the way with five hits

May, 18, 2013
5/18/13
11:50
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers have a leadoff hitter. Ian Kinsler.

They also have a pretty good backup. Elvis Andrus.

[+] EnlargeElvis Andrus
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsBefore Saturday's game against Detroit, Elvis Andrus had never had five hits in a major league game.
Subbing in the leadoff spot with Kinsler nursing bruised ribs, Andrus had a breakout night Saturday, going 5-for-5 and coming within a home run of hitting for the cycle.

Andrus scored three runs and stole two bases as the aggressive Rangers blitzed red-hot Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers 7-2 on Saturday night.

Andrus used the entire ballpark to get his five hits, his career high.

"He's a tremendous hitter when he does that," manager Ron Washington said of Andrus' using the big part of Rangers Ballpark. "We needed that."

Andrus opened the bottom of the first with a single to left. He stole second and went to third on an error by Tigers catcher Alex Avila. He scored on a passed ball.

Andrus had a triple to right-center field in the second inning that scored Leonys Martin and ignited a three-run rally for a 4-0 lead.

Andrus had another RBI single to center field in the bottom of the third for a 6-0 lead. He led the way with three hits in the first three innings.

"When you have a night like that, you love it," Andrus said. "In 2010, I was the leadoff hitter for the whole year. It's not a spot that I don't like to hit in. I feel comfortable in that situation, hitting leadoff or hitting second. The whole thing about being leadoff is you see a lot of pitches and set the tone for the team. That's what I'm trying to do now."

Andrus had a double in the sixth and scored for a 7-2 lead, moving him within a home run of the cycle. At third baseman Adrian Beltre's urging -- he hit for the cycle in August -- Andrus went to the plate in the eighth inning trying for a home run.

"That's what Beltre told me," Andrus said. "You better have three hard swings."

Andrus, who has 15 career home runs, ripped a single to right.

"I hit the ball down," Andrus said.

As good as he looked Saturday in the leadoff spot, he'll be back hitting in the No. 2 spot in the lineup when Kinsler returns, maybe as soon as Sunday afternoon against Detroit.

"No," Washington said after the game. "Ian Kinsler has not been Wally Pipp-ed."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182