Tigers’ Tarik Skubal tosses a gem in win over A’s to open doubleheader

Detroit News

Whatever Tarik Skubal did during the All-Star break, he might want to try doing it again before his next start.

Skubal was back to his early-season form against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, allowing just one run and striking out nine over six innings in the Tigers’ 7-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader.

Skubal was perfect through 3⅔ innings, but walked Sean Murphy with two outs in the fourth. His no-hit bid was then snapped in the fifth when a pop fly off the bat of Seth Brown dropped in shallow left field.

Jeimer Candelario tried his best to track the ball from third base, and he looked as if he was camped under it at one point, but he battled the sun the whole way and ultimately lost it. It wasn’t ruled an error, though, and he never got his glove on it.

Brown later advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly, the only run Oakland could muster with Skubal on the mound.

After starting the season 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA over his first 10 starts, Skubal fell on some hard times in his last eight appearances coming into Thursday.

The lefty’s ERA was 6.86 during that stretch and he only won two games, but perhaps his performance against the A’s could serve as a turning point.

Candelario made things right with his bat, launching a 398-foot home run to right-center field in the seventh inning, giving the Tigers some insurance.

The ball left his bat at 104.4 mph.

Riley Greene also drove in a run, and Jonathan Schoop knocked in two himself.

Robbie Grossman stole the show offensively for the Tigers. He broke out of an 0-for-15 slump in his at-bats against the A’s this season.

Grossman drove in three runs Thursday, on a pair of doubles in the third and fifth innings. He also had a sliding grab out in left field in the fifth.

Alex Lange ran into some trouble in the seventh, as he came in from the bullpen and gave up a homer to Brown to start the inning. A few batters later, Lange was in a jam with runners on the corners and only one out.

Lange proceeded to strike out Nick Allen looking with an 86.8 mph curveball and punched out Skye Bolt swinging with a similar pitch.

Michael Fulmer and Jason Foley combined to finish the game and the Tigers broke their four-game losing skid.

rsilva@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Rich_Silva18

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