Tigers’ Tarik Skubal has tough act to follow vs. Blue Jays

Tarik Skubal and the Detroit Tigers relievers have an impossible act to follow on Sunday

Three Tigers pitchers put their names in the team record book on Saturday with a combined no-hitter from Matt Manning, Jason Foley and Alex Lange in a 2-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays. Both teams will play their final game before the All-Star break on Sunday afternoon in Detroit

It was the 20th combined no-hitter in major league history. It was also the ninth no-hitter in Tigers history and the first combined one. The last Tigers pitcher to record a no-hitter was Spencer Turnbull, who achieved the feat against the Seattle Mariners on May 18, 2021

“It’s pretty sick,” Foley said. “Anytime you achieve something like this in the game, it’s awesome. And I’m happy I got to do it with these guys.”

The Blue Jays had won four straight

Detroit’s pitchers did get some help. Shortstop Javier Baez made a nice running catch on a ball hit by Bo Bichette and right fielder Kerry Carpenter made a sliding grab in foul territory of a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ball.

“You have to tip your cap to good pitching and some great defense,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “Javi made a great play on Bo’s ball and Carpenter made the catch on Vladdy. That’s usually what happens — you have good pitching backed up by some good plays.

Skubal (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start of the season for Detroit on Sunday. Skubal, who underwent flexor tendon surgery last summer, tossed four no-hit innings against Oakland on Tuesday.

“He’s coming off a major injury and a conservative ramp back. He’s not going to go nine innings,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s not going to throw a no-hitter or set any personal records.”

Skubal was pleased with his season debut.

“I’m healthy and it was fun to get out there and compete — and that was the goal,” Skubal said. “Just to feel good coming out of it and I do. The nerves were definitely there but it was good to get out there and do what I do.”

The left-hander allowed only one baserunner on a hit by pitch. He also struck out six.

“I’m going to throw strikes,” he said. “If you can hit it then you hit it, if you can’t, then you can’t. Just getting that mindset hammered out is huge.”

Hinch brought in rookie Reese Olson in relief of Skubal on Tuesday, and he’ll likely do so again against the Blue Jays. He held the A’s to one hit in five innings in a game Oakland won 1-0 in 10 innings

Chris Bassitt (8-5, 4.09 ERA), who will start the series finale for Toronto, survived a rough patch to post back-to-back solid outings. Bassitt gave up 15 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings during a stretch of three starts last month. In his final June start, he tossed six shutout outings against San Francisco while racking up 12 strikeouts.

In his outing on Tuesday, Bassitt gave up three runs and six hits in six innings against the Chicago White Sox.

Lost in the euphoria of the no-hitter was the triumphant return of Tigers outfielder Riley Greene. After recovering from a leg injury, Greene was activated off the injured list on Saturday and reached base four times. He was 2-for-2 and walked twice

–Field Level Media

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