The Matt Boyd rollercoaster continued its unpredictable track on Tuesday night. The lefty blanked the Royals over 5 2⁄3 innings of work, and the Tigers won handily by a score of 6-0.
Boyd had somewhat better command than in his last disastrous outing against the Milwaukee Brewers. He threw a ton of changeups and kept Royals hitters off balance, allowing just two hits on the night. However, he did issue four walks, seemingly deciding he just wasn’t going to give in to contact any longer. That may be wise, especially against a team that will take its hacks, like the Royals.
Perennial pest Whit Merrifield led off the game with a double, and then stole third base with one out. Salvador Perez, incredibly hitting third, bounced one to shortstop Willi Castro, who came home with it to nail Merrifield trying to score. That play turned the tide, and the Royals didn’t seriously threaten much after that. Boyd got in a groove, retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth inning before issuing back-to-back 3-2 walks in the sixth. Manager Ron Gardenhire turned to Jose Cisnero who quickly induced a ground out to end the threat.
Meanwhile, the hot hands in the Tigers lineup continued to swing it right out of the gate in the first inning. With Danny Duffy scratched for missing the team flight to Detroit, Jacob Junis got the call for the spot start, and he had a rough time. A one-out single from Willi Castro, and a walk to Miguel Cabrera, set the table. After Jeimer Candelario grounded into a force out, Niko Goodrum, playing second base to make way for Castro, and Jorge Bonifacio came through with RBI hits to make it 3-0.
In the third, Cabrera flipped his sixth homer of the season over the right field wall. Number 483 was a classic Comerica Park solo shot to right. Cabrera reached base five times in the contest, a feat he hadn’t pulled off since May of 2017.
Singles from Candelario and Goodrum, followed by a walk to Bonfacio, then set the table for a big inning. Unfortunately, a sac fly from Austin Romine plated one run but that was all they’d get.
Former New York Mets ace, Matt Harvey, made an appearance in the sixth inning. Yep. THAT Matt Harvey. Even knowing he was with the Royals, it felt odd seeing him after so long in obscurity.
He punched out Daz Cameron and Victor Reyes back-to-back and was hitting 96 mph and still showing a solid pair of breaking balls. But he is no longer the Dark Knight, and Willi Castro greeted an 0-1 hanging changeup by hammering it opposite field into the bullpens. Cabrera followed with a double, and then Candelario laced a shot the opposite way on a high fastball to put two on with one out.
At that point, Salvador Perez noticed something amiss with Harvey, called for the trainers, and as quickly as he’d reappeared, Harvey disappeared back into the void of unfulfilled promise and endless arm trouble.
Jose Cisnero and Buck Farmer handled the seventh and the eighth innings without much difficulty, and closer Bryan Garcia came on to get experience closing in non-save situations. He allowed a single but no more, and the Tigers losing streak was over.
"Miguel Cabrera" es tendencia porque hoy activó el modo odiosito y se fue de 2-2 con doblete (581 de por vida) jonrón (483 de su carrera) y 3 bases por bolas pic.twitter.com/qP6Er0TIyN— ¿Por qué es tendencia? (@estendenciavzl) September 16, 2020
Watch Willi Castro go the other way for his fourth homer of the season. pic.twitter.com/WE74UW4BdW— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 16, 2020