Skubal caps rookie year as Tigers rally

Detroit Tigers

MINNEAPOLIS — The emphatic slam of the rosin bag from Tarik Skubal summed up his night as Josh Donaldson pummeled his 96 mph fastball and sent it to the left-field seats. It was the Twins’ second home run off the Tigers’ left-hander, and they added one more off Skubal before his season finale ended.

In the process, they gave Skubal a reminder of his biggest point of improvement this offseason as he looks back on his rookie campaign. While he set a Tigers rookie record with 164 strikeouts, including one over 3 1/3 innings in Thursday night’s 10-7 win at Target Field, he also set a Tigers rookie mark with 35 home runs, one shy of Yusei Kikuchi’s Major League rookie record from 2019.

Skubal ended his season with a no-decision for his trouble thanks to an equally formidable Tigers outburst on Twins rookie starter Joe Ryan, including a pair of home runs from former Twin Niko Goodrum. Byron Buxton’s second homer of the night, this time off Kyle Funkhouser, put Minnesota ahead in the seventh, but Harold Castro’s game-tying double and Dustin Garneau’s go-ahead sacrifice fly turned the game again as part of a three-run eighth.

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