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Skubal struck out eight in six innings, but got no help from the Tigers offense.
The Detroit Tigers offense managed twice as many hits against Royals starter Brady Singer as the Cleveland Indians did six days ago. Unfortunately, Singer nearly threw a no-hitter in his previous start; the Tigers offense was held to just two hits while striking out 12 times in another subpar performance, and they dropped a 4-0 decision on Wednesday evening.
The silver lining to this game? Lefthander Tarik Skubal bounced back from a poor showing in his last outing, and put together a quality start. Skubal gave up a pair of early runs, but righted the ship. He finished his outing with two earned runs allowed across six innings, zero walks, and eight strikeouts. This would be good enough to win in most games, but the continued lack of run support — the Tigers have scored more than four runs just one time in Skubal’s six starts this year — led to Skubal’s third loss of the season.
The Royals jumped on Skubal early to plate their first two runs. After Whit Merrifield was retired to open the game — possibly the first time he’s ever recorded an out against the Tigers, we’re waiting on confirmation — Sergio Alcantara misplayed a routine ground ball, which allowed Adalberto Mondesi to reach base. Skubal blew a couple of fastballs by Salvador Perez in the next at-bat, but the veteran catcher eventually caught up to one, sending it over the left field wall to put the Royals up 2-0.
That was all the offense either team would manage for a while. It was the last ball put in play in the first inning, in fact, and neither team put another runner on base until Mondesi reached on a bunt single in the third. The Tigers managed both of their hits in the fourth inning, when Willi Castro and Jeimer Candelario reached base, but Niko Goodrum grounded out weakly to Singer to end the threat.
After another scoreless inning in the fifth, the Royals got to Skubal again in the sixth. Merrifield led off the inning with a single, naturally, and Perez came through with an RBI double to put his club up 3-0.
And, well… that was it. Joe Jimenez had his velocity up and worked a nice 1-2-3 inning in the seventh before Gregory Soto coughed up a run on a wild pitch in the eighth, making it 4-0. All the while, the Tigers offense looked utterly lost against Royals pitching. A walk from new call-up Eric Haase in the fifth was the last time a Tigers hitter reached base, as their final 14 batters went down in order. Singer finished his outing with eight strikeouts, matching Skubal, and picked up his third win of the season. Daniel Norris , working out of the bullpen for reasons, pitched a scoreless ninth.