'Bad luck': Rangers knock around Boyd, Tigers
Detroit — The drought continues for Matt Boyd.
The Tigers starting pitcher is having some good starts but is having little to show for it at the end of his outings. It’s been more than a month since his last win and although he had another decent start, it wasn’t good enough for a win.
Boyd gave up two runs through the first four innings, but the 12 hits on Sunday night were tough to overcome — and the home runs he allowed in the fifth and sixth innings were his undoing, as the Texas Rangers took advantage of Boyd’s two mistakes in a 5-2 win over the Tigers on Sunday night at Comerica Park.
For Boyd (2-4), it was the sixth straight outing without a win, a span that includes three no-decisions and three losses in the past month.
“Six of his eight starts have been quality starts before today. The last two aren’t how we want him to throw,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He obviously has the capability to pitch better than the last two, because he has, the majority of the time.”
Boyd gave up four earned runs on 12 hits in 5.1 innings Sunday and seven runs on eight hits in his last start.
“I felt good today. I wanted a few pitches back, but sometimes ground balls find holes and it’s bad luck one inning,” Boyd said. “You get bad luck one inning and you miss a few pitches and it makes the difference in the game.”
The Rangers broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a no-doubter home run by Mike Napoli, his 10th of the season. The blast was estimated at 446 feet and landed in rarefied air: the camera well in straightaway center field.
Pete Kozma added to the lead in the sixth, with his first home run of the season — and first since 2013 — to make it a two-run cushion. The Rangers' bullpen gave up just two hits, a double by James McCann in the sixth and a double by Miguel Cabrera in the seventh, the rest of the way.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish (5-2) gave up two runs over five innings, with seven strikeouts and four walks. He fell into an early hole in the first after giving up a leadoff home run to Ian Kinsler in the first. It was the 42nd career leadoff home run for Kinsler, tying him with former Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson for sixth all-time.
“His pitch count got up and he was out of the game relatively early but we couldn’t wriggle any runs off him,” Ausmus said. “We could work counts and works some walks off him and we had the first inning with runners on base.
“After the first inning, we had people on here and there but we didn’t really do much against him; he was never really in danger, other than the first inning.”
Kinsler’s home run tied it at 1, after the Rangers took an early lead on an RBI single by Jonathan Lucroy, scoring Elvis Andrus, who reached on an infield single. The Rangers regained the lead, 2-1, on an RBI single by Robinson Chirinos in the second, scoring Nomar Mazara, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
After a one-out single, Cabrera, who went 3-for-4, tied it at 2 in the second, with a two-out single, scoring Andrew Romine. But by then, the Tigers’ bats were almost silent.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a clean eighth inning for the Tigers, giving Ausmus some encouragement that he might be working through his issues.
“The last couple outings have been good. I’d like to get him back in the mix. If he can keep having outings like this, it makes it easier to have a deeper bullpen,” Ausmus said. “On days that (Justin) Wilson doesn’t close, K-Rod goes back to closing again and maybe he has success there — and all of a sudden we have a great problem, where there’s two guys who can close.
“He’s going to be toward the back end, if he’s pitching well again. We’d like to see a couple more outings, hopefully like the last two he’s had and at that point, I can become more comfortable with putting him back in situations that he’s been very comfortable pitching in for 13 years.”
Texas added its final run in the ninth on an RBI double by Lucroy, scoring Rougned Odor from first.
The Tigers start a 10-day, 11-game road trip to Houston, Chicago and Kansas City on Monday.