Detroit – Rolling, rolling, rolling.
The Tigers, after a two-hour, 10-minue rain delay, rode a pair of solo home runs and another stout performance from rookie left-hander Tarik Skubal to a 4-1 win over the Texas Rangers Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
It was their fifth straight win coming out of the All-Star break. And the seventh straight loss for the Rangers.
Skubal, featuring a lively fastball (average velocity 94.6 mph), gave up just four hits, two in the first and two in the fifth, in his six innings. His escape in the first was an early turning point.
After Eli White doubled and Adolis Garcia singled, the Rangers had runners on the corners with one out. Skubal got the ever-dangerous Joey Gallo to pop out to shortstop and then caught Garcia napping off of first base.
First baseman Jonathan Schoop took Skubal’s pick-off throw and briefly chased Garcia toward second. He stopped abruptly when White broke for home and made a strong throw to the plate to nab him.
Skubal dispatched the next 11 hitters before his next spot of trouble in the fifth.
The Tigers were having their own issues with Rangers starter Dane Dunning.
For four innings, the only vertical mark on the scoreboard was Robbie Grossman’s two-out, solo home run in the first inning. Grossman ambushed a first-pitch sinker from Dunning and lofted it 425 feet into the seats beyond the right-center field wall.
It was Grossman’s 14th home run of the season, and the second longest of his career. It also extended his on-base streak to 19 games. He’d hit a home run off Dunning in Arlington, too, the only run the Tigers got on him in five innings that night.
The Rangers finally nicked Skubal in the top of the fifth. With one out and a runner on first, Skubal engaged in a six-pitch tussle with right-handed hitting Andy Ibanez.
He got back-to-back ugly swings with change-ups and then threw him two more that he bounced in front of the plate to even the count. Skubal threw a 95-mph fastball on 2-2 and Ibanez was way out front — which seems counterintuitive after seeing four straight pitches at 81 mph.
Skubal must’ve thought so, too, because he came back with another fastball, this one at 94 mph and Ibanez was right on it and lined it over Grossman’s head in right field for an RBI double.
That was it. Skubal struck out four, didn’t walk anyone and got through six innings in 83 pitches. The Tigers bullpen — Kyle Funkhouser, Jose Cisnero and Gregory Soto — got the last nine outs in succession.
Eric Haase got that run, and the Tigers’ lead, right back in the bottom of the fifth. He lined a 76-mph slider off the Tigers’ bullpen roof in left – 406 feet – for his 14th homer of the season.
Harold Castro singled and Derek Hill drew a walk and with two outs, Dunning, who is on innings-restrictions, was pulled for right-hander Josh Sborz.
Schoop greeted him with an RBI single, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Jeimer Candelario and Castro, who each had two hits, combined to plate another run in the sixth. Candelario doubled and Castro singled – both opposite-field shots. Castro has 15 hits in his last 30 at-bats.
The Tigers, 36-27 since May 8, have won five of Skubal’s last six starts.
Our special thanks to:detroitnews.com