It was as solid a debut as the Detroit Tigers could have hoped for from Matt Boyd. And with Johnny Cueto on the mound for the Kansas City Royals, the Tigers needed to make their hits count. Detroit ultimately won 2-1 over the Royals thanks to a pair of triples and a strong start by Boyd.
In his first start in a Tigers uniform, Boyd held the Royals to seven hits and one run, scored in the fourth. He struck out just two batters and his speed decreased as the game progressed, but his command did not fade. He kept the Royals off balance and induced a ton of weak flyouts with plenty of popups and groundouts mixed in.
After that, Bruce Rondon came in and delivered a strong eighth, striking out a pair of batters. And in the ninth, Blaine Hardy faced a pair of batters, getting both out with a fantastic back-handed catch for the second out by J.D. Martinez. With one out to get, Alex Wilson was brought in to face Salvador Perez, who singled and was promptly pulled for a pinch runner -- red alert base stealer, Jarrod Dyson (and yes, Dyson stole second cause that's what he does). But that's as far as the Royals got as Wilson got the last out on a flyout for his second save of the year.
Meanwhile: You get a triple ... AND YOU GET A TRIPLE, AND YOU GET A TRIPLE! That's roughly how the game went in the first five innings, offensively. All three triples scored a run, and the Tigers led 2-1 after four innings of ball. And no, your eyes weren't playing tricks on you and you didn't get plastered. The strike zone really was that awful.
After that, the game was relatively quiet as Cueto settled in. The Royals outhit the Tigers 9-5 and the Tigers left five on-base, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but it was the Detroit bullpen that held up.
@walkoffwoodward atleast 5 of these every game— Detroit (@cityofDET) August 6, 2015
Matt Boyd: In his debut for the Tigers, Boyd put up seven solid frames of one-run ball, scattering seven hits. He did not walk a batter.
Anthony Gose: The struggling center fielder got a desperately needed hit in the form of a triple, scoring Tyler Collins from second -- he had doubled.
Ian Kinsler: Tripled to start the fourth and scored on Victor Martinez's RBI groundout for the go-ahead run.
Bruce Rondon: Did what he was supposed to do: give the Tigers an easy inning. He allowed a leadoff single but struck out two, including a nasty slider that got out Eric Hosmer for a swinging strikeout to end the eighth.
NOPE. NOT HAPPENING.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Ian Kinsler is batting .400 with two homers, six doubles, two triples, and eight RBI since the All-Star break.
- In exchange for David Price, who was traded to the Blue Jays, the Tigers received Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris in return. Norris and Boyd have combined to give Detroit 15 1/3 frames of two-run ball, allowing 11 hits while recording seven strikeouts. Only one batter was walked, and the Tigers got two wins in that time.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: