OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Tarik Skubal had a season-high 10 strikeouts in seven strong innings for his fourth consecutive win, and the Detroit Tigers handed the Athletics their eighth consecutive loss, beating Oakland 7-3 on Thursday night.
Kerry Carpenter had his ninth multi-hit game this month and the 34th of the season for Detroit. Matt Vierling added two hits, an RBI and scored twice for the Tigers, who are 6-2 on their final road trip of the season.
“Tarik Skubal set a nice tone for us,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Everything that you like about pitching, Tarik did tonight. He was completely dominant and that came with throwing strikes and being ahead in counts.”
Brent Rooker hit his 28th home run for the last-place A’s (46-107), who need to win their final nine games to avoid matching the 1979 A’s (54-108) for the most losses in Oakland history.
A’s manager Mark Kotsay’s team committed three errors, hit into two double plays and failed to advance a runner past first base in their latest setback.
Skubal (7-3), who was born in Hayward 20 minutes south of Oakland, had another strong outing for Detroit while pitching in front of a small crowd of 6,160 at the Coliseum. The left-hander allowed two hits, an infield single in the third and a ball that center fielder Parker Meadows appeared to drop but was ruled a hit in the second inning.
Skubal walked one and had at least one strikeout in every inning he pitched. He finished one strikeout shy of his career high while winning for the second time in four career starts at the Coliseum.
On Thursday he won there while pitching in front of a large section of friends and family.
“To be able to throw in front of my grandparents, that’s pretty special. Then obviously aunts and uncles and cousins, you don’t take that stuff for granted,” Skubal said. “To be able to perform in front of them and perform well, there’s definitely some motivation.”
Over his last three games Skubal has allowed one run in 19 innings, a 0.47 ERA.
Hinch said there was nothing major that Skubal did to turn his season around, The 26-year-old is simply rounding into shape after missing the first three months of the season recovering from left flexor tendon surgery.
“He’s nasty,” Hinch said. “Probably hard to think of it this way but he’s like in mid-season form because this is midseason for him. He’s kind of catching his stride a little bit as the season’s coming to an end.”
Kotsay, who watched it all from the home dugout, agreed.
“This kid’s really throwing the ball well,” Kotsay said. “A three-pitch mix, and the changeup is a swing-and-miss changeup. Our hitters were in between all night. Late on the heater, ahead of the breaking ball and changeup.”
Tigers reliever Brenan Hanifee retired six batters in his major league debut to complete the game. Hanifee threw a wild pitch that allowed the A’s to score their first run in the ninth before Rooker’s solo drive to center.
Detroit’s offense got going early.
Vierling blooped Luis Medina’s first pitch into right field and landed just past a diving Brent Rooker for a double. After moving to third on a flyout, Vierling scored when A’s shortstop Nick Allen fielded Spencer Torkelson’s grounder then threw wildly to the plate for an error.
Andy Ibáñez followed with an RBI triple that skipped past center fielder Esteury Ruiz and rolled to the wall, scoring Torkelson.
Vierling drove in Parker Meadows when he bounced a single up the middle in the sixth .to make it 3-0 Zach McKinstry followed with a sharp double to right, and Vierling scored when Brent Rooker’s throw was wide and missed the cutoff man for another A’s error. McKinstry then scored on a balk by Oakland pitcher Luis Medina (3-10)
The Tigers led 6-0 following Ibáñez’s RBI single off Mason Miller in the eighth.
Medina, who last won on July 18, allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. He is the first A’s rookie pitcher to lose 10 games or more since 2017 when Daniel Gossett and Jharel Cotton both did it.
WINE FOR MIGGY
As part of Miguel Cabrera’s retirement tour in his final season, Kotsay presented the Tigers slugger with a magnum bottle of wine from nearby Napa Valley. Cabrera, who went 0 for 3 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth after fouling a ball off his left foot, accepted the wine and raised the corked bottle as if taking a drink while walking off the field.
Athletics: OF J.J. Bleday (knee) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday and could rejoin the big league club next week.
Tigers RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (1-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his third career start Friday night in Oakland. The Detroit rookie had 6 strikeouts in 10 innings over first two games. Athletics LHP Ken Waldichuk (3-8, 5.40) has six consecutive no-decisions going into the game and 15 overall this season, tying the franchise record for a starting pitcher shared by Ron Darling (1993).
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