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Indians 3, Tigers 2: Matt Boyd’s fine start marred by quiet offense

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At least Blaine Hardy had a dominant relief outing.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Matt Boyd's 723 innings of efficient strength against Cleveland were almost enough, but in the end the Tigers couldn't string enough runs together even with a ninth-inning threat against a shaky Cody Allen. Detroit dropped the third game of the series 3-2 to the Indians despite Boyd's start and a strong outing from Blaine Hardy.

The offense wasn’t doing much of anything against Carlos Carrasco, leaving it to Boyd to keep the Indians guessing. He did a fair job of it with the exception of one inning — the fourth. He didn’t fall apart so much as the Indians just got lucky hits, and three runs scored on back-to-back singles, a triple, and a sacrifice fly.

But Boyd’s night started out with a six-pitch first and nine of 10 retired batters. He didn’t even give up his first hit until that leadoff single in the fourth. After that inning, he gave up just two hits and an intentional walk. His stuff was moving well and he had Cleveland hitters off balance with weak swings for much of the night.

But with Carrasco on the mound, the offense just couldn’t come up with enough key hits. Their only runs came via an RBI single by Jim Adduci in the fifth, and a sacrifice fly from Victor Martinez after Nicholas Castellanos led off the sixth with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Even their two-on threat with two walks in the ninth and the tying run at third couldn’t do the trick against Allen.

ROARS:

Matt Boyd: Gave the Tigers seven solid innings of work, with four strikeouts and three runs allowed. He walked three but none of those came in the fourth, the only inning in which he gave up runs. Despite the fourth, he pitched efficiently and didn’t pass 100 pitches until after his second out in the eighth. He finished with 102 pitches after walking Edwin Encarnacion with two outs in the eighth.

Blaine Hardy: Got the final out in the eighth and stayed on for an easy ninth with one two-out single.

HISSES:

Tigers offense: Facing Carrasco, they had a tough time scoring runs and struck out 11 times.

STREAKS AND INFO:

  • Ian Kinsler left the game in the top of the seventh inning with left hamstring tightness. He’ll be reevaluated on Thursday.
  • Matthew Boyd is the first Tigers starter to pitch into the eighth inning for 2017. He recorded two outs before walking Encarnacion in the eighth and ending his night.