Skubal falters in final Aug. start as Tigers fall

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT — Tarik Skubal’s hardest fastball Tuesday night registered at 96.9 mph, according to Statcast.

The A’s averaged a 97.0 mph exit velocity off the Tigers left-hander.

It was that kind of night. Even as Skubal fanned six batters over five innings to set a Tigers record for strikeouts by a pitcher in his rookie season, Oakland punished him when making contact, including two-run home runs by Matt Chapman and Mark Canha in a 9-3 Detroit defeat.

Skubal had enjoyed a borderline dominant August, having allowed four runs on 19 hits over 22 2/3 innings with a 27-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Every run off him had scored on a homer, including back-to-back solo shots in his last start at St. Louis before he rolled to 10 strikeouts over five innings.

Though Skubal struck out four of Oakland’s first eight batters Tuesday, he never found that same groove, working deep into counts and walking as many batters as he had in his previous four starts for the month combined. He threw 29 pitches in a scoreless second inning that featured two walks, two strikeouts and one ball in play — an Elvis Andrus groundout.

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