Skubal fans career-high 9; Tigers sweep M’s

Detroit Tigers

The normally straight-faced Tarik Skubal made it obvious how much Wednesday’s 6-2 Tigers win in Seattle meant from his uncharacteristic emotion, from the 98 mph fastballs he pumped in the first inning to the mound dirt he grabbed after losing Sam Haggerty to a walk leading off the fifth.

It wasn’t just about his return to the city where he was a college standout. Skubal wanted to follow the lead of the Tigers’ starters who pitched before him in this series, from good friend Casey Mize’s career-best outing on Monday to Spencer Turnbull’s no-hitter Tuesday. With Seattle University head coach Donny Harrel and ex-teammates in the stands, Skubal had to temper that emotion to get his first win since last August and lift Detroit to its first series sweep in Seattle since 2006.

The last time the Tigers swept a series in Seattle, their starters were Mike Maroth, Nate Robertson and Justin Verlander, who combined for 20 innings of one-run ball on 10 hits with 10 strikeouts. The late-April sweep was a statement for where that club was headed; this week’s series was more a glimpse of what could be to come from this young rotation.

Skubal had a career-high nine strikeouts while allowing two runs over five innings.

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