Aaron Civale moved from one American League division race to another at the trade deadline
The acquisition of Civale became even more essential after Tampa Bay ace Shane McClanahan landed on the 15-day injured list on Thursday due to left forearm tightness
The deal came somewhat as a surprise, since the Guardians are battling Minnesota for first place in the AL Central
Tampa Bay is trying to reclaim first place in the AL East from the Baltimore Orioles
Civale (5-2, 2.34 ERA) is looking forward to pitching for his new club
"It's felt like the first day of school for these last few days," Civale said. "This is great. It's been great. Everyone's been awesome. Just happy to be here.
Civale wasn't sure how the trade deadline would play out
"I can't say I was expecting it. I can't say I was totally blindsided, either. That's the nature of this game we play," he said. "I think it's an honor to be wanted like this, and it's going to be an awesome opportunity.
Civale made a postseason appearance last season and enjoys the pressure of pitching for a contender
"Been fortunate to be involved in a lot of playoff races and chases in my time in Cleveland, and it's been nothing but exciting baseball," he said. "It's going to be great for the last few months of the season. It's going to be fun.
It's been no fun for opposing batters to face Civale lately. He allowed just six earned runs in six July starts, going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA
Civale posted victories in his last two starts for the Guardians. He allowed just one run in eight innings against the Kansas City Royals on July 25, then blanked for the Chicago White Sox for six innings on Sunday
He has been dominant against the Tigers in his career, going 7-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 10 starts
Detroit will hand the ball to Tarik Skubal (1-1, 4.57 ERA), who will be making his sixth start of the season. He had an odd outing in Miami on Sunday. Skubal cruised through the first four innings, then surrendered four runs in the fifth, when he was knocked out of the game. The Marlins went on to win 8-6
"Pretty frustrating," Skubal said. "We're up 4-0 and I don't do a good job of stopping the bleeding there. That's on me. We scored a ton of runs (Sunday) and we didn't win a game. .... I have to learn from it. I have to learn how to stop it.
Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said, "We couldn't get the ball off the ground. Most of our outs were on the ground, and that continued no matter what pitcher came in. They controlled contact and that made their defense have to make plays, and they did.
--Field Level Medi