Cabrera looks to lead the Detroit Tigers to a second straight victory over the Rangers on Saturday night.
Cabrera led the league with a .330 average, 44 homers and 139 RBIs last year, making him the AL's first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
The reigning league MVP and seven-time All-Star is already making a case for another run at that rare feat. He's first in the majors with a .376 average - .509 with runners in scoring position - and 42 RBIs, while his eight homers rank among the AL leaders.
That offensive dominance is regularly on display against the Rangers (27-15). He's hit .378 with 12 homers and 62 RBIs in 60 career meetings - including playoffs - and he has a .411 average while knocking in 14 runs over his last 15 games in Arlington.
Cabrera is at it again, collecting four hits with two doubles in the first two of this four-game series. One of his three hits Friday was the go-ahead double in the sixth inning of a 2-1 win after Detroit (23-17) fell 10-4 in the opener.
Despite the slugger's staggering production, the Tigers have dropped nine of 12 in Texas, including all three while losing the 2011 ALCS in six games.
Scheduled starter Anibal Sanchez (4-3, 2.05 ERA) will face the Rangers for the first time since July 1, 2011, while with Florida. He's 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA in two career starts versus Texas.
The right-hander, though, has compiled a 2.33 ERA while fanning 42 in 27 innings over his last four starts, splitting four decisions during that span.
He yielded two runs with eight strikeouts in seven innings of Monday's 7-2 win over Houston.
The second baseman is a .361 hitter at home against the Tigers.
Justin Grimm (2-3, 4.28) counters for Texas looking to avoid a fourth consecutive losing start.
He's been roughed up to the tune of a 7.02 ERA during his skid, allowing four homers and nine walks in 16 2-3 innings. Grimm had won his two previous starts, posting a 0.69 ERA.
The rookie right-hander was hit hard in five-plus innings Monday, surrendering five runs and seven hits, including a season-high two homers, in a 5-1 loss at Oakland.
"I think he has been very competitive," manager Ron Washington told the team's official website. "He just has to make certain he gets his pitches down in the zone. He's got a couple balls up lately and they've left the ballpark.
"When he takes the mound, I feel good. He's a young guy and he's facing quality hitters he hasn't seen before."
Grimm has seen the Tigers, and it ended quickly. He was battered for six runs and eight hits before being lifted with no outs in the second inning of an 8-2 home defeat June 25.
Cabrera went 2 for 2 with a double off him.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland needs one win to become the 15th manager to reach 1,700.
|May 12, 2013||Austin Jackson||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 26, 2013||Phil Coke||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|April 26, 2013||Phil Coke||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|April 21, 2013||Octavio Dotel||Day-to-Day||Elbow inflammation|
|April 20, 2013||Octavio Dotel||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|April 09, 2013||Victor Martinez||Day-to-Day||Lacerated right thumb|
|May 16, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|April 11, 2013||Justin Miller||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|April 07, 2013||Matt Harrison||15-Day DL||Inflamed nerve in lower back|
|April 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||Day-to-Day||Left game - blister|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Elvis Andrus was swinging for the fences in the eighth inning.
The Texas shortstop, though, was thrilled with a soft single that capped one of the best nights of his career.
Andrus had a career-high five hits, Mitch Moreland homered and Texas roughed up Anibal Sanchez in the Rangers' 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Andrus scored three runs, had two RBIs and stole a pair of bases as he hit leadoff for the second straight game in place of ailing second baseman Ian Kinsler . Andrus was a home run shy of the cycle and finished off his 5-for-5 game with a single to right in the eighth.
"(Adrian) Beltre told me to take three hard swings," said Andrus, who hasn't homered since last Sept. 4. "Try to go yard. That's what I did, but the pitch was down. But I'm really happy with a base hit."
Moreland hit a solo shot off Sanchez leading off the third, his 10th home run of the season.
The Rangers (28-15) have the best record in baseball and are a game better than the New York Yankees for the best mark in the American League.
Kinsler missed his second straight game with bruised ribs, an injury that was aggravated after he was hit by a pitch from Justin Verlander on Thursday night.
Andrus, who batted leadoff for the Rangers in 2010 when they won the American League crown, will go back to his No. 2 spot in the order when Kinsler returns.
"The only thing I'm concerned about is Elvis leading the team and he's taking advantage of it," Texas manager Ron Washington said. " Ian Kinsler has not been Wally Pipped."
Sanchez (4-4) gave up a season-high six runs in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest start in almost two years. The right-hander yielded nine hits, walked two and struck out two as his ERA jumped from 2.05 to 2.77.
This is the second time in three games a Tigers starter hasn't made it out of the third. Verlander gave up eight runs in 2 2-3 innings in Detroit's 10-4 loss to the Rangers on Thursday night.
"Sanchez had a bad night," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He had a tough time throwing strikes. He's been terrific and he'll get back on track."
Texas starter Justin Grimm (3-3) gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings to snap a three-game losing streak. The rookie allowed seven hits and struck out two while throwing a career-high 105 pitches.
In his second career start last June, Grimm surrendered six runs and eight hits in one inning against the Tigers.
After allowing two runs in the third, Grimm retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced and left to a standing ovation. He credited a pep talk from Washington after the third inning for his success Saturday.
"Wash got me in the dugout and told me to trust my stuff," Grimm said. "He kind of tapped me in the face and caught me off guard. Just hearing that he had confidence in me meant a lot."
Detroit has lost seven of 11 games and dropped a game behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
Torii Hunter snapped an 0-for-15 slide with an RBI double and he scored two batters later on Prince Fielder 's single, bringing the Tigers within 4-2 in the third.
Andrus singled on Sanchez's first pitch of the game, then stole second and advanced to third on catcher Alex Avila 's throwing error. The Texas shortstop scored on Avila's passed ball.
The Rangers extended their lead to 4-0 with three runs in the second.
Andrus got the inning going with an RBI triple that tipped the end of Hunter's glove in right and he scored on Sanchez's throwing error.
Lance Berkman capped the second inning with an RBI single.
Sanchez threw 32 pitches in each of the first two innings. This was his shortest start since going 1 2-3 innings Aug. 10, 2011 as a member of the Marlins.
"It's a bad outing," Sanchez said. "I don't have an excuse. We have to give credit to the team, they swung well."
Moreland led off the third with a 415-foot blast into the Detroit bullpen in left. It was Moreland's seventh home run in May.
Andrus ended Sanchez's night with an RBI single that stretched Texas' lead to 6-2 with two outs in the third.
Berkman's RBI double scored Andrus, who led off the sixth with a double.
"The whole thing about hitting leadoff is being on base to set the tone for the team and that's what I did," Andrus said.
NOTES: Texas RHP Colby Lewis (elbow) and C A.J. Pierzynski (strained right oblique muscle) will begin rehab assignments Monday for Double-A Frisco. Lewis was removed from his rehab stint earlier in the week with triceps tendinitis, but he threw on the field Saturday with no problems. . Leyland expects OF Austin Jackson (strained right hamstring) to return from the disabled list when he is eligible May 27.