Skubal leads Tigers in statement win vs. Sox

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT — The Tigers passed their first test in four weeks against a team with a winning record. Tarik Skubal’s five scoreless innings in Thursday’s 8-1 win over the Red Sox proved a point as well.

While Miguel Cabrera’s chase for his 500th home run will continue on to Cleveland beginning Friday night, Detroit made a statement on its way out of town with Thursday afternoon’s rubber match against Boston. After an ugly loss Wednesday night, the Tigers led Thursday from their first at-bat — a Robbie Grossman leadoff home run — and steadily added on until it became a blowout.

Like so many other games this summer, the Tigers churned out offense with limited power. Grossman’s leadoff home run was Detroit’s only homer of the day. Victor Reyes tripled from both sides of the plate, including a two-run, two-out gapper to right-center to build a six-run lead in the fifth inning. By that point, the Tigers had long since chased Red Sox starter Martín Pérez, who gave up more hits (five) than he recorded outs (four).

Skubal at times seemed at risk for a similar fate, but stranded six runners from the second inning through the fifth. He escaped a second-and-third, one-out jam in the third inning with a called third strike on J.D. Martinez and a long flyout from Xander Bogaerts.

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