Skubal deals, Cabrera clobbers HR as Tigers tank Twins 4-2 in Game 2 of twinbill sweep

Detroit News

Detroit — After beating the Twins in Game 1 Saturday, Matthew Boyd had some appointment viewing planned for the rest of his afternoon.

“They got the old F-150 in the first game,” Boyd said. “Now they’re getting the Ferrari.”

The Ferrari, rookie Tarik Skubal, was fast and sleek out of the gate, pumping 98-mph fastballs and mixing in sliders, change-ups and an occasional curveball. But the hero of the nightcap for the Tigers was a vintage, timeless Cadillac.

Miguel Cabrera launched his 482nd career home run with a man on in the fifth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie and sending the Tigers to a 4-2 win and a doubleheader sweep of the defending Central Division champion Minnesota Twins.

BOX SCORE: Tigers 4, Twins 2

Cabrera, who earlier in the day passed Charlie Gehringer for 50th place on the MLB all-time hits list, is now 10-for-21 with eight RBIs in his last six games. The home run, on a 1-1 92-mph fastball from reliever Tyler Duffey, an opposite-field shot into the right-field seats, was his fifth of the season — the first since Aug. 8.

But the Ferrari looked sharp, too, picking up his first career win. Skubal made two mistakes in five innings, and only one of those cost him a run.

That was a 2-0 change-up he left up and over the plate to Twins slugger Nelson Cruz in the fourth inning. That one landed in the left-field seats, 431-feet from home plate. Cruz hit one off Boyd in the first game, too. He now has 20 home runs at Comerica Park in his career.

The other mistake, a hanging slider on a 1-2 count to Miguel Sano in the same inning, ended up creating a highlight-reel catch by Victor Reyes. Reyes, getting the start in center field, raced his 6-5 frame 87 feet to the wall, reached over and stole a home run from Sano.

Reyes, who had four hits in the first game, stole another hit from the Twins in the sixth inning, a diving catch after a long run on a sinking drive by Max Kepler. 

Other than those two hangers, Skubal was solid. The five innings were his longest outing to date. He allowed two runs on three hits with no walks. He struck out two and had six swings-and-misses.  

The Twins nicked him in the second inning. Left-handed-hitting Eddie Rosario jumped a first-pitch breaking ball and lined a single to right. Sano followed with a hard-hit single to left field. Rosario tested Christin Stewart’s arm in left and easily beat the short throw to third base.

Marwin Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice fly before Skubal got Luis Arraez to ground into an inning-ending double-play.

Of his 70 pitches, Skubal threw 43 four-seam fastballs, with a velocity range of 91-98 mph.

Jose Cisnero pitched a clean sixth inning and then Gregory Soto, in his first true save opportunity, got himself in a quick jam. A single by Cruz and a walk to Rosario put the tying runs on base.

But after a visit from pitching coach Rick Anderson, he induced Sano to bounce into a 5-4-3 double-play and he struck out Marwin Gonzalez looking at a 97-mph heater. 

The Tigers, facing a parade of Twins’ relievers, took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a 424-foot, two-run home run by Jeimer Candelario, who had three hits and two walks in the two seven-inning games.

The Tigers, now a game under .500 (15-16), have won four straight games and three straight series against playoff-contending teams – Indians, Cubs and Twins.

Twitter@cmccosky

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