(Photo credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports)
Tarik Skubal continued his brilliant month of September with seven shutout innings, Andy Ibanez drove in two runs with a triple and a single, and the visiting Detroit Tigers rolled past the Oakland Athletics 7-3 in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.
Matt Vierling and Spencer Torkelson scored twice apiece for the Tigers (72-81), who remained a half-game behind the Cleveland Guardians in their duel for second place in the American League Central.
Skubal (7-3) ran his record to 4-0 in September and lowered his ERA to 1.04 in those games with the second scoreless outing in his last three starts. He limited the A's (46-107) to a pair of singles while striking out 10 and walking one.
Making his major-league debut, Brenan Hanifee allowed Oakland's three runs in the ninth, the last two coming on Brent Rooker's 28th homer with two outs.
Every pitch thrown by a Tiger was made with a lead after the club greeted Luis Medina (3-10) with a two-run first. Vierling led off the game with a double and Ibanez capped the uprising with his run-scoring triple.
The visitors broke the game open in the fifth with some help from the A's. Vierling singled home Parker Meadows, who had singled, before a throwing error by Rooker in right field and a balk by Medina produced two more runs for a 5-0 lead.
Medina was pulled after five innings, charged with five runs (four earned) on six hits. He walked one and struck out five.
The Tigers tacked on in the eighth on consecutive singles by Torkelson, Kerry Carpenter and Ibanez, and an error on A's first baseman Jordan Diaz.
Vierling and Carpenter joined Ibanez with two hits each for the Tigers, who won for the sixth time in their last eight games.
Oakland's only two hits before the ninth were of the infield variety - by Aledmys Diaz in the second and Jordan Diaz in the third. Skubal induced double-play ground balls two batters after each of the hits.
The left-hander faced the minimum 18 batters before he walked Esteury Ruiz leading off the seventh.
--Field Level Media