ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Elvis Andrus and the Texas Rangers are doing what they have to do if they want to make a push in the crowded AL wild-card race.
Andrus had the go-ahead homer among his four RBIs, Cole Hamels won again despite a shaky outing and the Rangers completed a three-game sweep over the Detroit Tigers with a 12-6 victory Wednesday night.
“I think everybody’s doing their job, we’re having really good at-bats, nobody’s taking anything for granted,” Andrus said. “That’s our DNA that we need to keep the rest of the season, and hopefully the beginning of something good.”
Andrus snapped a 4-all tie when he led off the fifth with his 16th homer, a liner that just cleared the 8-foot wall in center off reliever Chad Bell (0-1), the second of eight Tigers pitchers. Andrus added a two-run single an inning later when the Rangers scored four more times.
Ian Kinsler led off the game with a homer for Detroit, then after taking his position at second base in the bottom of the first received an on-field handshake from Angel Hernandez, the longtime umpire who he said should get another job.
“Angel just shook my hand,” Kinsler said, without elaborating, when asked about how the conversation between the two of them and who initiated the handshake.
Asked if was surprised about what happened, Kinsler responded, “No.”
A day after Kinsler’s harsh and extended criticism, Hernandez was working second base for the series finale. Kinsler was ejected from the opener Monday when questioning balls and strikes during the middle of an at-bat while Hernandez worked behind the plate, and the second baseman lashed out the following day.
After sweeping the Tigers, who have lost 10 of last 12 games, the Rangers stay home for four games against the Chicago White Sox, who have the AL’s worst record. Texas is only two games out of the American League’s second wild card, though there are three other teams between them and that spot.
Joey Gallo homered for the third straight game and AL-high 10th time in 14 games this month. His 35th homer was a towering solo blast estimated at 420 feet in the Texas eighth.
The Tigers twice in the first three innings had two-run leads against Hamels (8-1), who had allowed only one unearned run over 16 innings while winning his first two starts this month. The ace left-hander gave up four runs and eight hits with a season-high five walks in six innings.
“You could tell he was uncomfortable with something. I’ve never seen him like that,” Kinsler said. “But he battled through. He did what he had to do to keep his team in the game and his offense picked him up.”
Detroit led 2-0 before Adrian Beltre singled starting the second, and Nomar Mazara then homered. Kinsler led off the third with a walk before Mikie Mahtook’s homer, but the Rangers got even again in the bottom half when Andrus walked and Beltre homered for his 3,019th career hit.
Miguel Cabrera was initially called safe at second base by Hernandez when trying for a double in the seventh. The Rangers challenged the call, and Cabrera was already back in the dugout before umpires finished reviewing the replay. SS Andrus took RF Mazara’s strong throw and tagged Cabrera on the back just before he got to the bag.
Rangers CF Delino DeShields, whose earlier error allowed a run to score, had a highlight on his 25th birthday when he ran a long way for a diving and sliding catch of James McCann’s popup to short center in the fourth. … Detroit’s bases-loaded threat in the fifth ended when 2B Rougned Odor made a running over-the-shoulder catch of Nicholas Castellanos’ popup in the short right.
The win was the Rangers’ 1,000th since Jon Daniels began their general manager after the 2005 season when he was MLB’s youngest GM at age 28. … Beltre’s 13th homer this season was the 458th of his career, 38th all-time and only one behind Cabrera.
Tigers: Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez exited after only 2 1-3 innings because of left hamstring tightness after the Beltre home.
Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco, and throw 15 pitches Thursday in his first game since three surgeries this year to remove and rebuild is colon. … OF Carlos Gomez has a cyst in the middle of his back and missed his third straight game. The team had said the previous two days he wasn’t feeling well.
Tigers: A much-needed day off Thursday. They host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.
Rangers: Tyson Ross (3-2, 7.11) starts in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night against the White Sox.