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.
Tigers RHP Michael Pineda was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right middle finger fracture. Pineda was struck by a line drive during his start on Saturday.
Orioles: SS Jorge Mateo was removed for a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning. He collided with Detroit 1B Spencer Torkelson in the second inning and was diagnosed with left shoulder and chest contusions. X-rays were negative. ... OF Austin Hays (hand) was not in the lineup for the third consecutive game.
Tigers: OF Victor Reyes, who was reinstated from the 10-day injured list prior to the game after recovering from a left quad strain, was removed in the second inning with a right quad strain. ... RF Austin Meadows, who has been battling an inner ear infection, departed after the first inning. Hinch said both players will be placed on the IL.
Orioles: RHP Kyle Bradish (1-1, 4.24 ERA) will start against the New York Yankees on Monday as Baltimore opens a seven-game homestand. The rookie got his first major-league victory on Tuesday, striking out 11 in seven innings at St. Louis.
Tigers: RHP Alex Faedo (0-1, 3.60 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday. The rookie has made two starts, including a five-inning stint against Oakland on Tuesday in which he gave up two runs and struck out seven.
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