One night after Spencer Turnbull delivered the eighth no-hitter in Detroit Tigers history, starter Tarik Skubal achieved a more modest feat. The rookie left-hander notched his first win of the season.
Skubal struck out a career-high nine batters as the Tigers downed the Seattle Mariners 6-2 on Wednesday to complete a three-game road sweep.
The Tigers lefty had lost all six of his previous starts this season.
Skubal’s victory was the second of his career, with the first coming on August 29th against Minnesota.
After allowing a first inning two-run homer to Kyle Seager on an 0-2 fastball, he only allowed three more hits in his 90-pitch, five-inning outing.
Skubal finishes with flourish
Seager’s homer was the 12th allowed by Skubal this season. He struck out the next batter, Tom Murphy, with a slider to end the inning.
The slider continued to be his most effective pitch, as Skubal used it to record four of his next five strikeouts.
The fifth inning was a display of growth. He walked Sam Haggerty after getting ahead in the count 0-2. He then threw three straight balls to Jose Marmolejos but didn’t buckle. Skubal regained the strike zone and put Marmolejos away with a 95-MPH heater.
After allowing a single, Skubal struck out Mitch Haniger on three pitches, utilizing a changeup to get a foul tip and finish him off. Skubal notched his ninth strikeout on a 3-2 slider to Kyle Lewis.
Runs produced with a soft touch
The Tigers pecked away at Seattle starter Logan Gilbert and reliever Will Vest to score five runs in the first four innings.
They only had one extra-base hit — Robbie Grossman’s leadoff double in the third. Detroit scored twice in the second against Gilbert, who was making his second career start, on Eric Haase’s RBI single and Wilson Ramos’ run-scoring groundout.
Nomar Mazara smacked an opposite-field single to drive in Grossman in the fourth. Harold Castro brought in two more runs the next inning with a single. Castro knocked in another run with a single in the ninth.
Castro had a three-hit night, raising his average to .343.
Elbow contusion cuts Castro’s night short
Willi Castro departed early after getting hit by a pitch on his right elbow by Vest in the fourth inning. Castro wears a pad over the elbow to cushion any blows but he still wound up with a contusion. He winced after sliding into home plate on Harold Castro’s single later in the inning.
JaCoby Jones pinch-hit in the sixth inning for Willi Castro, who started at second base. Jones took over in center field and Harold Castro shifted from center to second. Jones made an impact defensively, leaping above the right-center field wall to rob Marmolejos of a home run in the seventh.