Starting pitcher Tarik Skubal will try to sustain his roll when the Detroit Tigers visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon.
Skubal (8-11, 4.02 ERA) will start the finale of this two-game interleague series at Busch Stadium. The Tigers won the opener 4-3 for their third victory in four games.
In his last three starts, the left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.02 ERA and 17 strikeouts and just two walks in 17 2/3 innings.
“I just love how he’s pitching,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “He’s not just a thrower. He’s got great stuff, and he can light up the radar gun. He can spin it a little bit. He can mix his pitches. But he competes, and I think that’s part of the arsenal.”
In his previous start, Skubal held the Los Angeles Angels to two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
“I felt like I was commanding things where I wanted to go, throwing offspeed in hitters’ counts,” Skubal said. “Getting ahead of guys on strike one, too, was a big thing. I felt like I was in my counts most of the night.”
Skubal is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two career outings against the Cardinals. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings against them on June 22.
Paul DeJong (2-for-3, RBI), Yadier Molina (1-for-2, homer, two RBIs), Tommy Edman (2-for-5, double, RBI) and Dylan Carlson (1-for-3) have had success against him.
The Cardinals have lost five of their last seven games — and they sustained another injury when starting pitcher Jack Flaherty left Tuesday’s game with a tight shoulder.
“We battle at all times,” Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader said. “It’s hard when you have injuries, especially with starting pitchers. We really do need everybody down the stretch.”
The Cardinals will turn to left-hander Jon Lester (4-6, 5.46 ERA) Tuesday. He is 1-1 with a 7.08 ERA in four starts since arriving from the Washington Nationals in a trade.
He allowed four runs on six hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in his last outing. Lester continued on after Brewers batter Christian Yelich hit a line drive off his calf.
“That’s one tough hombre. That’s a man’s man,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “He went out there, didn’t make any excuses, said, ‘I’m going to figure out a way to keep pitching’ and did it.”
Lester is 3-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 career starts against the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera is 15-for-28 against him with 10 walks, four doubles, a homer, four RBIs and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.444.
Robbie Grossman (3-for-6, walk), Dustin Gameau (1-for-2, homer, three RBIs), Jonathan Schoop (3-for-10, RBI) and Jeimer Candelario (2-for-6) have also hit him well.
Both teams got outfielders back from the 10-day injured list. The Cardinals’ Carlson returned from a sprained wrist, and Akil Baddoo returned after being in concussion protocol.
Baddoo was injured in an outfield collision with teammate Derek Hill on Aug. 10.
“I’m glad we’re OK, and now we’re back here so we’re going to make sure the communication is on point now,” Baddoo said.
Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill is questionable for Wednesday’s game. He was a late scratch from the lineup Tuesday night due to mid-back stiffness.
–Field Level Media