The Oakland A’s and Detroit Tigers will each play a home game and an away game on Tuesday without ever leaving the ballpark.
The unusual doubleheader at Detroit’s Comerica Park is a product of the delayed start to the season before a labor agreement was reached. Detroit was supposed to visit Oakland for three games during the opening week.
One of those games was rescheduled for Tuesday, with the A’s serving as the home team and batting last. The second game will be a typical Tigers home game.
Oakland snapped a nine-game losing streak by winning the opener of the five-game series 2-0 on Monday. The Tigers will look to end their six-game slide on Tuesday.
Detroit has been blanked in its past two games. The Tigers managed just one hit while falling 5-0 against the host Houston Astros on Sunday, then collected just four against the A’s on Monday. Over the past five games, the Tigers are 1-for-33 with runners in scoring position.
“There’s growing frustration across the board,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said after the latest defeat. “We’re getting beat in relatively close games for the most part and we expect more out of ourselves. We’ve got two games (Tuesday). We’ll start with Game 1 and flush this and get to the next game.”
Hinch saw some good at-bats on Monday that weren’t rewarded. Jonathan Schoop hit a scorching liner that was caught with a runner in scoring position.
“We hit a lot of balls hard (Monday), and when you don’t get any production out of it, it feels bad,” Hinch said. “Nobody wants to hear, ‘Way to hit it’ when they come back after hitting a bullet, especially with the way things have been going. We didn’t do enough to win the game. We needed more production.”
Frankie Montas (2-2, 3.44 ERA) will start the first game of the doubleheader for Oakland. Montas wound up with a no-decision in his latest start, against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, despite tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out six.
“Frankie threw a great game,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “Seven innings and ends up getting a no-decision. He deserved better than that.”
Montas has given up two or fewer earned runs and lasted at least six innings in four of his six starts this year. He is 4-2 with a 5.01 ERA in seven career appearances against Detroit, including six starts.
He will be opposed by left-hander Tarik Skubal (1-2, 3.04 ERA). Skubal has displayed excellent control this season, walking three and striking out 29 in 26 2/3 innings.
In his most recent outing, on Thursday at Houston, Skubal held the Astros to two runs on six hits and no walks in six innings while striking out nine. Skubal lost both of his career starts against Oakland, both last season, giving up eight runs (seven earned) in nine innings.
Alex Faedo will start the second game of the doubleheader for Detroit. The 26-year-old right-hander made his major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday and gave up two runs on eight hits in five innings.
The A’s hadn’t announced their Game 2 starter.
Paul Blackburn pitched the first 6 2/3 innings of Oakland’s streak-breaking victory.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said in a postgame TV interview. “We’re well aware in (the clubhouse) that we’ve been struggling a little bit, but every team goes through their ups and downs.
“We started off the season playing really good baseball. The last 10 or 11 games, we fell into some funks, but all attitudes in there are great. Everyone is pulling for each other, and we’re just going to continue to grind.”
–Field Level Media