For the second night in a row, a Detroit Tigers starter benefitted from a strong offensive effort to pick up a win. This time, Matt Boyd was the beneficiary. He shrugged off a shaky first inning to earn his third win of the season. The Tigers won their second in a row against the Kansas City Royals (and fourth overall), 9-3.
Entering the game, Boyd owned a 9.11 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals. Those numbers got even worse when he gave up three runs on four hits in the first inning. Whit Merrifield was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning for Kansas City, then advanced into scoring position on a single by Jorge Bonifacio. Eric Hosmer scored Merrifield with a single, and catcher Salvador Perez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. A two-out single from Alcides Escobar scored Hosmer to give the Royals an early 3-0 lead.
That deficit would be short-lived. The Tigers opened the top of the second with four consecutive hits, including a double from Mikie Mahtook and a two-run single from Victor Martinez. Dixon Machado tied the game with a sacrifice fly to score Martinez (yeah, seriously), and Nicholas Castellanos gave them the lead with an RBI triple that just evaded Merrifield’s outstretched glove in right field.
From there, Boyd buckled down. He held the Royals to just three hits over his next five innings, and finished with three strikeouts and a walk in six strong frames. The Tigers added another run in the fifth on a Castellanos solo homer, his second of the series. Castellanos greeted Royals reliever Mike Minor with another solo shot to lead off the seventh, and Justin Upton scored on a throwing error by Salvador Perez.
Nicholas Castellanos: This is the Castellanos we were expecting from day one this season. Nicholas homered twice, added a triple and a single, and led the Tigers with five RBI.
Victor Martinez: He only had one hit before a double off the wall in garbage time, but his RBI single in the second put the Tigers on the board and cut Kansas City’s early lead to 3-2. He has five RBI already this series.
Matt Boyd: A run-of-the-mill quality start isn’t always that impressive, but Boyd did a spectacular job of buckling down after a rocky first inning. He allowed three runs on four hits in that frame, but limited the Royals to just three more hits in his next five-plus innings.
The J.D. Martinez trade: Let’s just say this one is a little lopsided.