When the San Francisco Giants made a mid-April visit to Detroit, they weren't expecting to return
While the Giants' and MLB's websites did not immediately list a starter for Monday's game, numerous media reports in Detroit and San Francisco iindicated that right-hander Ross Stripling will get the nod. It is his 10th this season and 15th overall appearance. He's coming off his longest outing this season, a six-inning start against at Cincinnati on Wednesday
Stripling (0-3, 5.92 ERA) gave up three runs and four hits that day. He gave up a three-run homer in the third but hung around for another three innings.
"We probably could've given him more pitches, but we wanted him to end on a good note," manager Gabe Kapler said. "He did his job and kept us in the game. It was good to get him out on a strong note."
The long ball has been Stripling's biggest issue. He has surrendered 13 in 51 2/3 innings after allowing 12 in 134 1/3 innings last season.
"Kind of the story of my year: All of my runs seem to be given up on home runs," Stripling said. "But overall, (the start was) still definitely a step in the right direction. (My) pitches are pretty zoned in right now. Staying in my lanes, mixing in everything, any time, any count."
He's still looking for his first victory after going 10-4 with Toronto last season, including four wins in his last six starts.
He'll be opposed by lefty Tarik Skubal (0-1, 5.25 ERA), who will be making his fourth start after recovering from flexor tendon surgery last August. Skubal pitched four scoreless innings in each of his first two outings, then got hammered for seven runs and eight hits in four innings at Kansas City on Tuesday.
Skubal gave up two runs in the third and five more in the fourth.
"I leaked middle with a lot of things," he said. "Guys can hit those pitches. I lost (velocity) in the fourth because it was a long inning. I'm not too worried about the velo in this aspect. It's more about locating. A lot of my sinkers, I was trying to go in on righties and they were leaking back over the plate. And I was trying to go away from lefties and they leaked back in."
Skubal brushed aside a suggestion that he may have been tipping his pitches.
"Obviously your brain wants to go there," he said. "But I think that's a copout. Guys that go right to tipping, I think that's a copout. Usually it's a product of count leverage, getting ahead and pitch execution. If you look at my pitches, the two-strike execution wasn't my best."
San Francisco was swept during a weekend series in Washington. The Giants scored only one run in each of their last two games and five in the series
"We know we're a better offense than we're showing right now," Kapler said. "A lot of that has to do with clicking at the same time. The other thing that's really important, and what we can do going forward, is just staying calm, not press at all."
Detroit salvaged the finale of a three-game series against visiting San Diego with a 3-1 win on Sunday.
--Field Level Media