Skubal trending up but Tigers fall late

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers had dreams of Tarik Skubal shutting down the formidable lineups of the American League Central as he plowed through opponents at Class A Advanced Lakeland and Double-A Erie last summer. They probably didn’t envision him doing it quite this soon.
The nightmares the Twins give the Tigers’ bullpen,

The Tigers had dreams of Tarik Skubal shutting down the formidable lineups of the American League Central as he plowed through opponents at Class A Advanced Lakeland and Double-A Erie last summer. They probably didn’t envision him doing it quite this soon.

The nightmares the Twins give the Tigers’ bullpen, by contrast, are fairly familiar. Even so, a run-off infield single from Byron Buxton was a new one, completing a two-run Twins rally in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 Detroit defeat at Target Field on Saturday night, extending the Tigers’ losing streak to four.

Box score

On a night when the Tigers needed a pitching gem to hang with Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda, they got it from Skubal in his fourth Major League start. The 23-year-old left-hander quieted the Bomba Squad with six strikeouts over six innings of two-hit, one-run ball. A two-run seventh inning on four consecutive singles — including RBIs from Jeimer Candelario and Jorge Bonifacio — gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead, but Miguel Sanó’s solo homer in the bottom of the inning off Joe Jiménez closed the gap to a run.

Goodrum (oblique) placed on 10-day IL

A day after Gregory Soto didn’t retire a batter in the ninth for a blown save, the Tigers used the lefty to end the seventh and went to Jose Cisnero in the ninth. Again, a leadoff walk put the Twins in motion. Tiger tamer Nelson Cruz hit a comebacker that deflected off Cisnero for an infield single, then Sanó hit a one-out grounder through the left side for a game-tying single.

Cisnero was an out away from taking the game to extra innings, but Buxton’s ground ball to short became a race with rookie shortstop Willi Castro. Buxton beat the throw to first to score Cruz.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck’s Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.

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