MLB: Tigers start red-hot Tarik Skubal vs. Brewers in series finale

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Tarik Skubal has been one of the few bright spots for the Detroit Tigers this season. The left-hander has emerged as one of the early favorites for the American League’s Cy Young Award.

Skubal will make his 13th start this season in the finale of a three-game home series against the Brewers on Sunday afternoon.

Skubal (7-1, 1.97 ERA) has held the opposition to two or fewer runs in nine of his outings, including his past two starts. He tossed seven shutout innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 29, then limited the Texas Rangers to one run in six innings last Monday.

Skubal didn’t have it easy against the Rangers, giving up seven hits and two walks.

“That was an exhausting outing. They made me earn everything,” he said. “They worked counts, put balls in play. That’s a good team. They won the World Series last year for a reason.”

He’ll be facing Milwaukee for the first time in his career.

The Brewers will counter with right-hander Bryse Wilson (3-2, 3.35). Unlike Skubal (86 strikeouts in 73 innings), Wilson pitches to contact (40 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings).

In his last outing, Wilson gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings at Philadelphia. Wilson didn’t start the contest. He came in during the second inning after Jared Koenig pitched a scoreless first inning. Wilson has started in seven of his 15 appearances this season.

Ideally, Wilson would have remained in his previous role as a long reliever. With the rotation hit hard by injuries, Wilson has been thrust into a starter’s role.

“The injuries — that’s what gave him a shot,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “We think he’s best suited as a long reliever, as a gap guy. But when all these injuries happen, when you’ve got nine guys on the injured list and you trade your No. 1 pitcher Corbin Burnes (during the offseason), you’re going to have some needs. We’ve had the need and he’s filled in nicely.”

He’s 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA in four career appearances against the Tigers, including one start.

Milwaukee has won the first two games of the series, including a 5-4 win on Saturday. Jackson Chourio had a two-out, two-run double in the sixth to give his club the lead and the bullpen made it stand up.

“His last month, he hasn’t gotten to play every day but he’s helped us win a bunch of times and today was no exception,” Murphy said. “Huge hit at a huge time.”

The Tigers, who were blanked 10-0 on Friday, scored all of their runs in the first two innings. Then their bats went cold.

Detroit is still looking for its first extra-base hit in the series. The Brewers’ offense has perked up after scoring just two runs in three losses at Philadelphia this week.

“Their lineup two days in a row has shown pretty good contact,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said.

Tigers second baseman Colt Keith left Saturday’s game with left knee discomfort. He collided with right fielder Akil Baddoo while tracking a fly ball.

–Field Level Media

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