Miguel Cabrera homers, Tarik Skubal strikes out 11 as Detroit Tigers complete sweep of Baltimore Orioles
By DANA GAURUDER
DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera blasted his 505th career home run, Tarik Skubal equaled his career high with 11 strikeouts, and the Detroit Tigers completed their first series sweep this season by defeating the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Sunday.
Cabrera had two hits, scored two runs and knocked in two more for the Tigers, who have won three straight. Harold Castro added three hits, a run scored and two RBIs.
Cabrera has a six-game hitting streak, batting .500 in that span.
“Clearly, he’s been a spark for us,” said manager A.J. Hinch, who celebrated his 48th birthday. “He’s swinging at strikes, he’s getting into good counts and he’s driving the ball.”
Skubal (3-2) lasted six innings, limiting Baltimore to three hits and two walks.
“I felt like I did a good job at getting to two strikes and then being able to execute a pitch with two strikes,” Skubal said. “Strikeouts come (and go), I’m not really going to be focused on that but it’s good to get to two strikes and then get guys out in those counts.”
Skubal was feeling a little under the weather, but it didn’t show while he overpowered Baltimore’s lineup.
“He’s been on the attack from the first pitch of the at-bat for a majority of the season,” catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “He’s able to control his fastball in locations that are very effective for him. He’s off to such a great start and he’s been a blast to catch. Just hope he can keep it going.”
Relievers Jacob Barnes and Rony Garcia worked the final three innings for the Tigers as the Orioles struck out a season-worst 16 times. Trey Mancini’s homer off Garcia in the ninth prevented Baltimore from being shut out in back-to-back games.
“I thought Skubal was really good. We’ve seen him before and pitched well against us last year as well,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We had a tough time making contact against him.”
Baltimore starter Tyler Wells (1-3) allowed three runs on eight hits in four-plus innings.
“He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been the last few times out,” Hyde said.
Cabrera gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the second when clubbed Wells’ 0-1 fastball over the left-center field wall. The Tigers added another run in the inning on Castro’s RBI single.
The Tigers took a three-run lead in the third. Javier Báez lined a one-out double, advanced on an infield single and scored on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.
Barnhart singled in a run in the seventh and Castro added an RBI single in the eighth.