Matthew Boyd’s second stint with the Detroit Tigers hasn’t gone as smoothly as he envisioned, but he will look to turn things around in the finale of a three-game road series against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon.
Boyd started 143 games for the Tigers from 2015-21, and after pitching for the Seattle Mariners last year, he returned to Detroit via free agency to provide another veteran presence to the pitching staff.
But Boyd (3-4, 5.96 ERA) has lasted at least six innings just twice in 10 starts, including his most recent outing. The left-hander was charged with five runs and five hits in six innings in a loss to Texas on Monday.
Walks have been an issue for Boyd this season — he’s issued 22 in 48 1/3 innings. The Rangers’ Corey Seager hit a three-run homer off Boyd, but the left-hander was more disappointed with walking four batters.
“Seager is the most aggressive hitter in the league,” Boyd said. “It’s the pitch I wanted to throw. Maybe I should’ve gone with a slider instead of a curve. But I missed with it. Honestly, though, it was the walks that killed me. I walked four, and three scored. Unfortunately, those were the difference makers.”
The homer came in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie.
“He was cruising,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He came out as hot as he’s been against the top of their order, which is really good. He established his fastball. He threw some really good changeups and sliders. But then he had the walks and Seager had the big swing. Whether it’s feel or trying to be a little too perfect or trying to overthink it — I don’t know what the reason is.”
On Sunday, Boyd will face a team that traditionally has given him fits. He’s 4-9 with a 5.31 ERA in 17 career starts against the White Sox. He’s been particularly ineffective in Chicago’s home park, going 1-8 with a 6.43 ERA in 11 starts.
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has feasted on Boyd’s offerings, batting .372 with seven extra-base hits in 43 at-bats.
Michael Kopech (3-5, 4.52), who will start for Chicago on Sunday, lost his start on Monday after two dominant performances. The right-hander gave up four runs and five hits while striking out 10 in 4 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
In his two previous starts, Kopech didn’t give up a run while allowing just three hits to Cleveland and Kansas City. He struck out 19 in a combined 15 innings.
Kopech is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA in six career appearances against the Tigers.
After losing three of four to the Tigers last weekend, Chicago has taken the first two games of this three-game series. The White Sox recorded a 3-0 shutout on Friday, then won in bizarre fashion on Saturday. Chicago eked out a 2-1, 10-inning victory as all of the runs scored on wild pitches.
“It was a weird way how the game went,” said Yoan Moncada, who scored the winning run. “Three runs, three wild pitches. Sometimes those things happen. You can’t really explain.”
–Field Level Media