Tigers’ losing streak reaches six games with 7-0 loss to Rangers

Detroit News

Detroit — Tarik Skubal came into the game with the fifth best strikeout-to-walk percentage in baseball (23%). So when he walked the leadoff hitter on five pitches to start the game, well, it wasn’t a positive omen.

It got worse when Skubal gave up three runs in the first inning. That’s been a mostly fatal deficit for the Tigers, who entered the game averaging a league-low 2.6 runs per game and were 4-37 when their opponent scores at least three runs.

Make that 4-38.

The Rangers extended the Tigers’ losing streak to six with a 7-0 romp.

It was Skubal’s second straight wonky start, yielding five runs and eight hits in just five innings. He was missing spots and falling behind hitters more than has been his custom. The Rangers put 18 balls in play with an average exit velocity of 92.7 mph – 3 mph harder than his season average.

He only struck out four with a pair of walks and he gave up a solo home run to Jonah Heim. Heim doubled in two runs in the first inning.

BOX SCORE: Rangers 7, Tigers 0

They did most of their damage against Skubal’s two best pitches, his four-seam fastball and slider.

The offense didn’t offer much pushback against Rangers’ right-hander Jon Gray, who allowed three hits through six innings. He was getting Tigers’ hitters to beat ball after ball into the dirt – eight ground ball outs.

The Tigers started to get to him in the seventh, albeit too little too late. Willi Castro and Javier Baez ripped sharp singles but nothing came of it. Gray finished his outing by striking out Robbie Grossman and getting Jonathan Schoop to line out to center.

The Rangers scored two runs in the sixth off reliever Will Vest, whose throwing error contributed to the mess. Vest hadn’t given up a run in six outings in June but he didn’t finish his inning.

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Lefty Tyler Alexander was summoned with the bases loaded and ended the inning in one pitch. Alexander put up zeros in the seventh and eighth, working around an error and a misplay by Baez in each inning.

This was the 10th time the Tigers have been shutout this season, one more than all of last season. They’ve mustered one run in the last 35 innings.

Tigers have been outscored 54-11 in this 10-game homestand. There are two games left.

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @cmccosky

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