Matthew Boyd sparkled in his second start back in the Majors and the Detroit Tigers held off several rallies to beat the Minnesota Twins in the series finale, 9-6.
Detroit opened up the scoring in the third on a two-run, one-out double by Justin Upton with runners at the corners, with Ian Kinsler initially holding at third but coming home on a pair of horrendous errors from the Twins battery. Boyd pitched into his own troubles in the bottom of the inning, giving up a pair of walks (one erased on a caught-stealing) and a towering home run to left from Eduardo Escobar to tie the game, 2-2.
Despite the mistake, Boyd stayed locked in through six innings, giving up no further runs and striking out eight. Jose Iglesias would reward him in the seventh with a two-run, no-doubt shot to the grandstand in left to put the Tigers in the lead, 4-2.
They almost gave it all back in the bottom of the frame. Shane Greene came in with a runner on and gave up a walk and a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Greene struck out pinch hitter Jason Castro and induced what should have been an inning-ending double play ball from Zack Granite, but Kinsler mishandled the grounder to let in a run and reload the bases. Unperturbed, Greene preserved the one-run lead, striking out Brian Dozier and Escobar, the latter after an epic 13-pitch battle.
The Tigers tried to pull away with a pair of runs in the eighth, but the Twins kept it close, Joe Mauer lining a two-RBI single off Bruce Rondon to bring the Twins back within one, 6-5. Justin Wilson came in with two outs to end the threat, and Detroit posted three more runs in the ninth to await the inevitable Twins rally. It almost came; Wilson gave up a solo shot to Dozier and walked Miguel Sanó before striking out Robbie Grossman to secure the win.
- Matthew Boyd: A career-high eight strikeouts across six innings, with four hits and three walks.
- Shane Greene: Struck out the side with no earned runs in one of the highest-leverage situations of the season.
- James McCann: 3-for-4 with two doubles and a great throw from his knees to cut down Zack Granite during the third-inning threat.
- Jose Iglesias: Three hits including the go-ahead home run in the seventh, his third knock of the year.
- It hurts my heart to say it, but Miguel Cabrera is clearly not having any fun at the plate, going 0-for-5 with three more strikeouts today.
STREAKS AND STATS
- Today was the longest nine-inning game in Target Field history at four hours and 19 minutes. The top three longest games have all been against the Tigers.
Alex Presley extends his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff single in the 7th inning.— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) July 23, 2017