The Detroit Tigers arrived in Oakland in a giving mood. Their generosity extinguished a three-game winning streak, as their pitchers issued 12 walks and their infielders committed two errors in an 8-4 loss to the A’s on Thursday.
They were coming off a road sweep of the Houston Astros in which they racked up 20 runs. A’s starter Sean Manaea quieted their bats while Detroit’s five pitchers piled up the free passes. A handful of the A’s who drew walks came around to score.
Starter Tarik Skubal walked four batters in four innings, though he only gave up two runs, including a Stephen Piscotty solo homer.
Matt Olson also smacked a solo shot for Oakland, and the parade of walks allowed the A’s to stretch the lead in the sixth inning.
Niko Goodrum homered for the Tigers in the first game of a four-game series.
Tarik Skubal fights control issues, hangs tough
Skubal showed some moxie after giving up six runs, including three homers, in four innings to Cleveland in his last start.
He set down the first six batters he faced but required 88 pitches to get through four innings.
Piscotty smoked a hanging slider over the left-field wall leading off the bottom of the third. Skubal responded by striking out the next two batters before Oakland loaded the bases on a walk, single and Willi Castro error. Skubal fell behind cleanup hitter Matt Chapman, 3-1, but came back to strike him out with a four-seam fastball.
A walk and a Jeimer Candelario throwing error put runners in scoring position with no outs in the fourth. Skubal then retired Piscotty on a three-pitch strikeout before Elvis Andrus hit a sacrifice fly.
Skubal got himself in more danger by walking the next two batters but wiggled out of the jam on Jed Lowrie’s warning-track fly to center.
Willi Castro, Niko Goodrum deliver some punch
Castro and Goodrum, two of the Tigers’ coldest bats, broke out of slumps.
Castro had one hit in his previous 19 at-bats before he smacked a two-out, opposite field fly with Candelario on first. Right fielder Mark Canha, thinking the ball would drop foul, jogged after it but the ball hit the chalk while Candelario came around to score on the double.
Castro added an RBI triple to right in the ninth.
Goodrum, who came into the game batting .208 with one RBI, went 3-for-4. He smashed a Manaea sinker 413 feet over the center field wall in the sixth.
Joe Jimenez makes wild return
Joe Jimenez made his first appearance of the season after being called up from the taxi squad earlier in the day.
The Tigers’ former closer entered in the bottom of the sixth with his club down, 3-2. He walked three of the four batters he faced before manager A.J. Hinch removed him.
Jimenez lost a nine-pitch battle with Canha and had Lowrie down in the count 1-2 but couldn’t put him away.
Alex Lange and Tyler Alexander each issued bases-loaded walks during the A’s four-run inning.