Vanderbilt showed Friday night its No. 1 national ranking is based on much more than just the SEC's best pitching staff.
The Commodores peppered Plainsman Park with a season-high 20 hits in a 11-6 win against Auburn, opening the weekend series with an impressive all-around performance.
Tony Kemp, Anthony Gomez and Riley Reynolds all had four hits for Vanderbilt (24-3, 5-2 SEC), which is in first place in the SEC East.
"It was just not a very clean baseball game," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "We did things that you can't do in order to beat a quality team, let alone Vanderbilt."
Auburn (15-11, 2-5) has lost its last four league games, its longest SEC losing streak since dropping five straight at the end of the 2009 season.
"I don't know if we're struggling mentally. I think we're searching for answers," Pawlowski said. "We've made some mistakes against good team. You just can't do that."
Tigers starter Andrew Morris (1-2) struggled in his weekend debut, allowing three runs on nine hits. The right-hander, who replaced Cory Luckie as the Friday night starter, labored through three-plus innings, throwing 77 pitches and leaving after an RBI double by Aaron Westlake in the fourth made it 3-0.
"He did a good job of damage control, but how many times can you wiggle yourself out of trouble (with the) bases loaded?" Pawlowski said.
Vanderbilt starter Sonny Gray (6-1), a potential top-10 pick in June's major league draft, wasn't his sharpest but did enough to win. The right-hander gave up two runs on four hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Auburn briefly made it a game. The Tigers scored twice in the fifth on a Justin Hargett ground out and a bloop single by Justin Fradejas to get within 3-2.
But the Commodores kept on scoring, putting the game out of reach with seven runs the next two innings off Auburn relievers Dillon Ortman, Sean Ray and Bradley Hendrix.
Of Vanderbilt's 20 hits, 18 were singles. It was the fifth time the Commodores scored in double figures this year, despite the fact that they left 16 runners on base.
Counting last weekend's sweep at Mississippi State, Tigers pitchers have allowed 38 runs in their last four conference games.
Nine different Tigers had hits. Auburn had two extra-base hits, a double by Casey McElroy and a triple by Bobby Andrews.
The teams play again tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Grayson Garvin (4-1, 2.45 ERA) takes the mound for Vanderbilt against Auburn's Jon Luke Jacobs (1-1, 1.46).