video thumbnail

HOU@DET: Sanchez fans eight Astros over seven

Rangers right-hander Justin Grimm, who has struggled over his last three starts, must now face the team that handed him the worst outing of his short Major League career.

Grimm will take the ball against the Tigers on Saturday night in the third of a four-game series at Rangers Ballpark. The 24-year-old will oppose Anibal Sanchez as Texas tries to reclaim the series lead after having its three-game win streak snapped with Friday's 2-1 loss.

In only his second big league start last June 25 in Arlington, Grimm did not record an out in the second inning, surrendering six runs on eight hits.

Grimm did not get his next chance to start a game in the Majors until this season, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA over his first three outings. But in his last three, he is 0-3 with a 7.02 ERA.

The University of Georgia product has gotten himself in trouble with nine walks in 16 2/3 innings, while also serving up four home runs.

"I think he has been very competitive," manager Ron Washington said. "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. Just being in the process and out there pitching, he'll find it. When he takes the mound, I feel good. He's a young guy and he's facing quality hitters he hasn't seen before. He has to have that command."

Sanchez, on the other hand, has not faced much in the way of setbacks this season.

Despite a modest 4-3 record, the right-hander sports a 2.05 ERA and has yet to allow more than three runs in any of his eight starts. He has struck out eight or more on six occasions, including 42 in his past 27 innings. On Monday, Sanchez held the Astros to two runs on six hits over seven innings.

This will be only his second career start at Rangers Ballpark. The previous one, in 2011, saw him give up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Tigers: Leyland not worried about V-Mart
Designated hitter Victor Martinez has not done much hitting this year, in his comeback from the knee surgery that cost him all of 2012. The four-time All-Star has a .213/.271/.300 batting line after going 1-for-3 with a walk on Friday.

Martinez hasn't exactly picked it up lately either, batting .200 in May. But manager Jim Leyland has faith in Martinez's track record.

"The book says he hits," Leyland said. "Just look at the media guide; it says he hits, and before all is said and done, he will hit."

• Relievers Darin Downs and Evan Reed, who both pitched 2 2/3 innings on Thursday, might be unavailable for a second straight day on Saturday, according to Leyland.

Rangers: Kinsler dealing with rib-cage injury
Second baseman Ian Kinsler did not play on Friday because of a bruised right rib cage. He said the injury first occurred last weekend in Houston and that he aggravated it on Thursday reacting to getting hit by a pitch from Justin Verlander.

Leury Garcia got his third start at second base and fifth overall in Kinsler's absence, which is not expected to be long-term. Garcia went 1-for-4 on Friday, and the 22-year-old rookie is 7-for-25 on the season.

• Catcher Geovany Soto went deep for the second consecutive game on Friday after going without a homer in his first 14 contests.

Worth noting
• Lance Berkman has the most experience against Sanchez of any Rangers hitter, going 5-for-13 with a double, a triple and three walks in 16 plate appearances.

• The Tigers' win on Friday kept them tied with the Indians atop the American League Central.

MLB.com Comments