OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jeimer Candelario homered, Robbie Grossman doubled twice and drove in three runs against his former team, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 7-2 on Thursday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Candelario connected leading off the seventh to help back Tarik Skubal (7-8), who struck out nine and didn’t allow an earned run over six impressive innings while pitching back home in the East Bay.
He is back on track after losing five straight starts from June 12-July 3, utilizing his steady slider.
“My slider’s my best pitch and I kind of just didn’t have a great feel for it. It kind of wasn’t doing what I want it to do,” Skubal said. ”... I was able to get it back to the movement I like, and I think that’s why my results have been a little bit different than prior.”
Grossman’s two-run double in the third put Detroit ahead, then he doubled again two innings later as the Tigers added an unearned run after second baseman Sheldon Neuse’s fielding error. Jonathan Schoop provided insurance runs with an eighth-inning double and a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Riley Greene added an RBI single in the ninth.
Tigers reliever Alex Lange surrendered a home run to Seth Brown in the seventh. Stephen Piscotty had a sacrifice fly for Oakland.
A’s lefty Zach Logue (3-5) allowed three runs on five hits over six innings, struck out four and walked one. He’s yet to win back-to-back starts or decisions in 2022. He was called up before the game from Triple-A Las Vegas for his fifth stint of the season with Oakland and will return to the minors.
“I’m just trying to be where my feet are,” he said.
Detroit played its seventh doubleheader this season — second most in the majors behind Cleveland’s eight — and still has two more scheduled. This was one was necessitated by the lockout-delayed start to the season.
The Tigers, who played at San Francisco from June 28-29, improved to 2-4 against the A’s this year after playing a previous doubleheader May 10 in Detroit during which the A’s were the home game for opener. This marked a quick trip West for the Tigers before returning home.
“I’ve had a makeup series before, but never usually three time zones in (one day) and then immediately return back home,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
Tigers: Starting RHP Beau Brieske went on the 15-day injured list with soreness in the forearm of his pitching side that Hinch called a muscle strain. Brieske tried playing catch after the All-Star break and experienced discomfort. ... RHP José Cisnero returned from the bereavement list.
Athletics: RHP Dany Jiménez, who went on the 15-day injured list June 21 with a strained pitching shoulder, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Tuesday. He could face live hitting as soon as Tuesday. ... Rookie INF Jonah Bride (shoulder) will continue his rehab assignment Friday with Class-A Stockton at Fresno. “Jonah’s doing great,” manager Mark Kotsay said.
The Tigers recalled INF Zack Short and INF/OF Kody Clemens from Triple-A Toledo and placed RHP Will Vest on the paternity list after welcoming a baby boy. He is expected back Saturday.
Tigers RHP Garrett Hill (1-1, 5.73 ERA) makes his third major league start in the second game.
RHP Frankie Montas (3-9, 3.26) was set to pitch the second game “in some capacity” for the A’s after missing two starts with inflammation in his pitching shoulder that forced him out of his last outing July 3 at Seattle. Montas has received one or fewer runs of support over his past four outings.