DETROIT — Matt Boyd worked past a two-run homer to put in 7 1⁄3 innings of outstanding work with five strikeouts and no walks. Backed by the offense, which woke up in time for a huge seventh inning, the Tigers ended their four-game losing streak and snatched a 5-3 win over the Astros on Saturday night.
A challenged play on the first out of the game and one two-run homer didn’t give the Tigers a positive outlook for the remainder of Saturday’s game. The Astros asked for a review on what was initially ruled a groundout, allowing Evan Gattis to step to the plate and destroy a 2-2 fastball deep into the left field seats for a homer, putting the Tigers in an early 2-0 hole.
Regardless of the conundrum, though, Boyd did not disappoint. After dancing around a 16-pitch second that saw back-to-back singles and a 1-3-6-3-4 putout of Jake Marisnick, he made short work of the Astros, needing just five, 14, six, eight, and 10 pitches in innings 3-7. He walked no one for the first time in a start since May 21, and looked dominant all evening.
The Tigers would need every bit of his stability, since the offense all but slept through the first six innings. Only Jose Iglesias had produced anything worth mentioning, knocking an RBI double in the fifth to break the Tigers’ silence on the board. That all changed, though, when in the seventh, a hit-by-pitch of Nicholas Castellanos, single by Victor Martinez, and a wild pitch by the Astros scored a run and sparked a turnaround.
Iglesias and Ian Kinsler’s back-to-back hits scored the critical tying and go-ahead runs of the night, shaking the home crowd awake and producing some much needed energy to a previously silent ballpark. Martinez’s RBI single in the eighth gave the team some additional breathing room for a desperately needed win.
Matt Boyd: Despite a 21-pitch, two-run homer first inning, Boyd recovered and stayed sharp. He had Astros batters off balance all evening and swinging awkwardly for pitches outside the zone for strikeouts.
Jose Iglesias: When no one else was producing hits, Iglesias came through with two hits, and two runs.
Victor Martinez: Had a three-hit day, driving in a run in the eighth.
The seventh inning: The offense woke up. Enough said.
Taking the day off, because it feels like it’s been a while.
STATS AND STUFF
- Saturday was Boyd's best outing since he went 72⁄3 innings on May 3 against the Indians, and gave up three runs on five hits, walking three. While he allowed eight hits on Saturday, Boyd walked no one and struck out five batters in 71⁄3 innings.
- Victor Martinez’s three-hit game was just his fifth of the season, and his first since July 17 when the Tigers won 10-2 against the Royals.
- Matt Boyd was hit by a comebacker in the left leg in the sixth inning. After a visit from head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and throwing a few pitches, he stayed in the game.
Wacky Tigers putout of 1-3-6-3-4. Or, the zip code in Jefferson County, NY.— Catherine Slonksnis (@CSlonksnis) July 29, 2017