The Texas shortstop hit a seventh-inning single that broke a tie and lifted the Rangers past Padres 8-6 Tuesday night. However, it was his subsequent steal of home that highlighted a dramatic win for Texas.
"When I saw the first pitch, I saw him (look) down, and he (did) it for so long," Andrus said. "The second pitch, I counted and tried to (fake) to home plate to see if he was aware, and I noticed he didn't do anything."
So Andrus did something by swiping home.
"I watched him set up the play with the first couple of strides down the line," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He felt like he had it and made the play. It was all him. We talk about drawing it up in the dirt, and that's drawing it in the dirt."
The Rangers scored three runs on Andrus' hit, which followed singles by first baseman Prince Fielder and third baseman Adrian Beltre and an intentional walk to second baseman Rougned Odor by reliever Shawn Kelley.
Right fielder Matt Kemp's throw to the plate on Andrus' single was in time to erase Beltre, but Beltre kicked the ball from catcher Derek Norris' glove for an error. That let Beltre and Odor score, with Andrus advancing to third. Norris left the game with shoulder injury.
"No dislocation, no separations," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. "It looks like it's just strained."
Andrus was at ease with his key hit.
"He had a good swing on the pitch and looked good and comfortable at the plate," Banister said. "Heads up by our guys to continue to run on the play. Run with your head up and find the baseball, and that's why we run hard. We run until the play is finished."
Andrus then stole home off Quackenbush for Texas' fourth run of the inning.
"They took advantage of our pitcher, they studied it," Murphy said. "You should never get a base stolen from you in the stretch. He was reminded of it last week that it could possibly happen. It's just something he's had a habit of doing, not looking at the runner."
The Padres scored twice in the ninth inning and had the tying run aboard before second baseman Cory Spangenberg flied out to end the game.
The contest was a battle of the bullpens, as neither starter got an out in the sixth inning.
Texas reliever Ross Ohlendorf (2-0) pitched a scoreless sixth for the win.
Marc Rzepczynski (0-1) took the loss after facing three batters in the seventh.
Padres starter Andrew Cashner worked five-plus innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. He struck out four.
Texas' Yovani Gallardo, who was seeking fifth consecutive victory, pitched five innings and allowed four runs on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
San Diego surged ahead 4-3 in the fifth when Kemp crushed his 17th homer of the season, a two-run shot that landed in the Rangers' bullpen. Kemp collected his fourth RBI of the game as his 434-foot blast to left-center scored first baseman Brett Wallace, who had singled.
The Rangers tied the game 4-4 in the sixth while chasing Cashner. He allowed a single to Beltre and a double by Odor. Nick Vincent replaced Cashner and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Andrus, scoring Beltre.
Marcos Mateo, who was activated from the disabled list before the game, stopped the rally by retiring pinch hitters Mitch Moreland and Bobby Wilson.
Texas took a 3-0 advantage in the third when center fielder Delino DeShields singled and scored on right fielder Shin-Soo Choo's double. Choo finished 3-for-5.
The Padres pulled within 3-2 in the third inning with two outs.
Third baseman Yangervis Solarte singled and went to second on Wallace's pinch single. Both runners advanced when Gallardo uncorked a wild pitch. Kemp followed with a two-run double. It marked Kemp's 21st consecutive game reaching base, tying Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto for the longest active streak in the major leagues.
Gallardo escaped further damage as he got second baseman Jedd Gyorko to ground out after he walked left fielder Justin Upton.
The Rangers jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Fielder homered after Choo's one-out single. Fielder's 18th homer of the year hit the top of the center field fence before ricocheting over.
Kemp and Wallace had three hits apiece for San Diego.
"I feel good," Kemp said. "I'm getting some good pitches to hit and putting some good swings on baseballs. That's my job, to drive in runs and make things happen. I've been seeing the ball real well, and I feel like I'm on top of things right now."
Murphy said Kelley sustained a forearm strain in the game. San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso exited the game with a back injury and is day-to-day.
NOTES: The Padres reinstated RHP Marcos Mateo (neck) from the disabled list. ... San Diego RHP Nick Vincent was recalled from Triple-A El Paso. ... Padres INF/OF Wil Myers (wrist) began a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore. ... The Rangers activated OF Josh Hamilton (knee) and C Carlos Corporan (thumb) from the DL. Hamilton will be restricted to pinch-hitting duty. ... Texas RHP Luke Jackson and INF Joey Gallo were recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, and the Rangers purchased the contracts of RHP Ross Ohlendorf and OF Drew Stubbs from Round Rock. Stubbs is making his Rangers debut. Ohlendorf and OF Will Venable were teammates at Princeton University. ... LHP Alex Claudio (groin) was recalled from Round Rock and placed on the 60-day DL. ... Texas RHP Roman Mendez was designated for assignment.