Detroit — Another start, another quality outing, another victory.
It’s becoming standard for Tigers starting pitcher Matt Boyd.
Wednesday was a the latest example of Boyd cruising through an outstanding performance, as he went six innings in a 10-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Boyd raised his record to 4-2, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out six.
“It starts with the starting pitcher and he gave us an opportunity,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was good, not as efficient in his pitches, but that lineup over there has guys who can pop a baseball.
“It's just another strong performance by him.”
The only blemish to Boyd's evening was allowing a leadoff home run by second baseman David Fletcher on the third pitch of the game,
But Boyd settled down nicely after Fletcher's home run, allowing only two hits the rest of his evening.
“I fell behind 2-0 and he hit a pitch down the middle,” Boyd said. “(So) come back and make the adjustment on the next guy. Just go forward and keep attacking and make adjustments and keep going forward.”
That’s seven consecutive quality starts for Boyd, who is quickly becoming one of the interesting stories of this Tigers season.
“Just typical Boyd, gives up a hummer to the first batter of the game and locked it down after that,” catcher John Hicks said. “More of the same. Mostly fastballs and sliders and both were good.”
Facing the power trio of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Albert Pujols, Boyd didn’t allow a hit in a combined eight at-bats, Ohtani the only one reaching base on a hit by a pitch (the trio was 0-for-11 collectively).
In the third inning, the Angels had runners on second and third after an error, and Fletcher double. But Boyd struck out Trout and forced Ohtani to ground to third, ending the threat.
“He’s (Boyd) a battler himself, he wants to get him out,” Gardenhire said. “That was a big at bat. He’s (Trout) a great hitter and Matty made some big pitches.
“That was big. That’s what people paid to watch, that guy hit and see our pitcher get him out.”
Boyd got plenty of offensive help from another intriguing storyline Wednesday, infielder Ronny Rodriguez.
Rodriguez had three hits (missed the cycle by a home run) and drove in four runs, as the Tigers jumped all over starter Tyler Skaggs (3-3) for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Rodriguez had a two-run triple in the first inning, singled in a run in the third, and doubled home a run in the fifth.
In his chance for a cycle in the seventh inning, needing a home run, Rodriguez grounded out to third base.
“I’m not going to lie to you, yes, I was thinking about it,” Rodriguez said of hitting for the cycle. “That’s why I swing (behind on the count), I wanted to try it and that’s what happened. That’s OK.”
Rodriguez has hit safely in 11 of his 14 games, with seven doubles, two triples, three home runs and 12 RBIs. Of his 17 hits, 12 have been for extra bases in 52 at-bats.
“He’s really playing, really swinging and getting a lot of hits,” Gardenhire said. “He’s come up and he’s picking up big time. He’s a confident young man. He really believes and you see it on the field. He can hit. He’s getting an opportunity, he got his feet wet last year, and now bringing him up in the middle of this thing, he’s having a good time.”
Getting regular playing time, and doing something with it, has given Rodriguez confidence.
“I’m getting an opportunity and I’m enjoying it, and taking advantage of it,” Rodriguez said. “I know that type of player I am. I’ve been doing (this) in the minor leagues, it’s not the same level, but I trust myself and I know what I can do on the field.”
The Tigers made a move after the game, sending down relief pitcher Jose Fernandez and bringing up starting pitcher Ryan Carpenter from Triple-A Toledo.
Carpenter will start Thursday’s game against the Angels.