On Thursday the Tigers landed in Seattle to open a three game series at Safeco Field. They sent Matt Boyd to the mound looking to maintain his roll. Boyd and the bullpen punched out 14 Mariners and set up another late innings comeback as the Tigers won 3-2.
The Tigers threatened in the first inning against Marco Gonzales with a Nicholas Castellanos double but failed to score. Boyd came out looking sharp in the first with solid velocity behind his fastball, touching 91 mph early. He nailed down a strikeout against the first two batters he faced to get off to a great start before retiring Mitch Haniger on a groundout to end the first inning.
John Hicks continued his solid plate appearances by leading off the second with a single. Mikie Mahtook battled and hit what would’ve been a double play ball but Gonzales air-mailed the throw, putting two men on with no outs. James McCann then grounded into a double play and Jose Iglesias also grounded out to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard though.
The second inning started off less than pleasant with a Kyle Seager double to lead off the bottom frame. Boyd then came back to get Ryon Healy and Mike Zunino on strikes. However, Guillermo Heredia turned on a fastball to left field for a single, scoring the first run of the game. Ben Gamel kept the Mariners moving with a solid single to right, allowing Heredia to reach third. Boyd stepped in it a little bit by walking Gordon Beckham, loading the bases, but was able to escape on a ground out. Boyd had over 40 pitches in the first two innings.
The Tigers failed to muster anything resembling a threat in the top of the third inning. Boyd returned for the bottom half and promptly gave up a lead-off double for the second inning in a row, this time on the first pitch. Mitch Haniger followed that up with a single to score another run and put the Mariners up two to nothing. Boyd then came back to strike out Seager and they caught Haniger in-between first and second immediately following the strikeout to get the second out. Boyd punched out Healy to end the inning, his sixth strikeout.
Victor Martinez dumped a one out single into left field in the top of the fourth but the Tigers couldn’t add any hits to score him. Despite giving up two runs early, Boyd showed more dominance in the bottom half, striking out Zunino to start. Heredia slyly plucked a should-be popup smack-dab in-between a charging Iglesias and Jones for a single. Boyd tied a career high in strikeouts with eight after punching out Gamel, the next batter he faced.
Iglesias added a double in the second with one out. Machado was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base. But between Jones and Kozma, the Tigers couldn’t bring home either baserunner. Kozma made up for it in the bottom half making a diving grab and threw out Segura for out number. Kozma made a slightly less spectacular grab for the third out, which kept Boyd’s pitches in the inning to just ten.
Hicks walked and Mahtook shot a laser beam into centerfield for a single putting the tying runs on with two outs. McCann hit a ball that was going to be a ground out but Seager lobbed a ball that hit the dirt and skirted away allowing a run to score and McCann to move to second. That would be all for Gonzales as he gave way to hard throwing righty Ryan Cook in a 2-1 ballgame. Unfortunately, Iglesias then struck out leaving two men in scoring position.
Boyd claimed his career high in strikeouts with his ninth to lead off the bottom of the sixth. He then retired the next two batters, and eighth in a row, to close out the frame. Buck Farmer relieved Boyd in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up a single and a walk before getting Gordon Beckham to ground out. Farmer was then removed and in came Blaine Hardy. Hardy struck out Dee Gordon for the second out. Warwick Saupold then relieved Hardy and induced Segura to ground out stranding two runners in scoring position.
Nick Vincent came out of the pen to start the eight and Gamel made a heckuva running catch to keep Castellanos from an extra base hit. Martinez hit a ball that Gamel couldn’t get to reaching first base. Victor Reyes came in for Martinez as a pinch runner. Vincent struck out Hicks on a highly questionable called strike three, something that happened regularly on Thursday night under Tim Timmons’ eye.
Mahtook picked up him though with a line shot into right putting men on first and second with two outs in a one run game. McCann worked a walk to load the bases. Then Iglesias came through in the clutch shooting a grounder just off the glove of Segura allowing both Reyes and Mahtook to score and take the lead, three to two. Vincent was removed by Scott Servais and Chase Bradford came on and got Machado to ground out on the first pitch to end the threat.
Joe Jimenez came in for the bottom of the eight and he proceeded to, in an unfathomably filthy way, strike out the side in order. The top of the ninth saw Castellanos reach on an in-field single but that was all they put in the top of the ninth. Shane Greene came on for the save, he got a nasty strikeout of Seager and a ground out of Heredia, before getting Gamel to ground out and end another late game come back victory for the Tigers. Come back tomorrow night for another fun one. Same Tigers Time, Same Tigers Channel.
Tweets of the game
Once more for the people in the back:— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 18, 2018
This team never quits! pic.twitter.com/YIXLXe5sA9
These late-night West coast games takes a toll on all of us, even Joe Jimenez.
Who was the Tigers player of the game?
This poll is closed
Matt Boyd: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, BB, 9 SO
The whole dang bullpen: 3.0 IP, H, BB, 5 SO
Jose Iglesias: 2-4, 2 RBI, 2B, SO