Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch has dealt with a tattered starting staff most of the season
This week, Hinch finally will have most of his big pieces at his disposal. Left-hander Tarik Skubal is expected to make his season debut on Tuesday when the Tigers begin a three-game home series against the Oakland Athletics
Ace left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been sidelined since late May due to a finger injury, is scheduled to start the second game of the series.
“It sounds like those guys are both doing well,” Hinch said. “We need one last evaluation before that happens, but in pencil, they are our starters.”
Right-hander Matt Manning collected a win in Detroit’s 14-9 win at Colorado on Sunday. Manning was making his second start since missing 2 1/2 months due to a fractured toe.
Matthew Boyd went down with a season-ending elbow injury last month, but otherwise normalcy has returned to the Tigers‘ rotation. Hinch has used 13 different pitchers to start games this season, with a number of bullpen games to get through the schedule
Skubal underwent flexor tendon surgery last August. He’s made steady progress this spring and summer, culminating with five rehab starts. He posted a 1.23 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings and his fastball topped out at 97 mph during his rehab assignments.
In his final start for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday, Skubal gave up two unearned runs in four innings while throwing 68 pitches.
“It was a good outing,” Skubal said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Stressful first inning and then had to log three more. It’s good to kind of simulate that and experience that and actually felt the best in the fourth. That’s a good sign.”
Skubal made 21 starts last season, going 7-8 with a 3.52 ERA. He struck out 117 batters in 117 2/3 innings. In four career starts against the A’s he is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
Oakland went 2-1 during a weekend series at home against the Chicago White Sox. The A’s are beginning a six-game road trip prior to the All-Star break.
JP Sears (1-6, 4.43 ERA) will start Tuesday’s game. The left-hander has lost his past three starts, giving up five home runs over 19 innings in those outings.
In a June 11 loss to the Cleveland Guardians, Sears pitched well, giving up two runs and four hits while striking out eight in seven innings. In his most recent outing, Wednesday against the New York Yankees, he allowed seven runs (five earned) and five hits while walking three in four-plus innings.
It was a historic evening as the Yankees’ Domingo German threw the 24th perfect game in major-league history. Oakland has scored two or fewer runs in eight of Sears’ past 11 outings.
The A’s had a chance to sweep the White Sox but fell short 8-7 on Sunday. A bright spot was outfielder Brent Rooker’s 14th homer, a two-run blast in the eighth inning. Rooker was named as the team’s All-Star Game representative.
“I needed that homer, whether I was an All-Star or not,” Rooker said. “I needed it for a lot of reasons. That was good. I feel like that was the best swing I’ve taken in a while. Hopefully, I can keep that momentum rolling.”
–Field Level Media
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