Matthew Boyd shrugs off trade rumors, delights home crowd in 15-inning Tigers loss

By Matt Schoch
The Detroit News

Detroit — If that was his last start at Comerica Park as a member of the Detroit Tigers, Matthew Boyd made it count.

The Tigers left-hander, his name heavily bandied about in trade rumors leading up to the July 31 trade deadline, battled out of jams and turned in an impressive outing on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tigers' Nicholas Castellanos is called out on this play with the tag by Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto in the 14th inning. Tigers challenged but the out call was upheld.

The game went on long after Boyd called it a night, with Philadelphia winning 3-2 on Wednesday morning in a 15-inning affair. Boyd might have said goodbye for good to the 23,607 fans in attendance, earning the no-decision.

After the game, Boyd said that he might have pitched his last home game as a Tiger did not enter into his mind. Boyd's only other start before the deadline is scheduled to be Sunday in his home state of Washington against Seattle.

BOX SCORE: Phillies 3, Tigers 2, 15 innings

"I have zero control of it, and there's no reason to worry about it unless something were to happen," Boyd said. "The biggest concern is getting home tonight and whatnot.

"Every time I put on a uniform, I know it could be the last time I put on a uniform. I'm just grateful every time I get to put on a big league jersey."

Long after Boyd hit the dugout, the winner came when Rhys Hoskins scored Scott Kingery with an RBI single after Kingery tripled to lead off the inning.

Detroit’s previous season-long game was 13 innings, and this game lasted until 12:17 a.m. — 4 hours, 29 minutes after the start time and 5:07 after the scheduled 7:10 first pitch.

The Tigers had chances to win late, but Nick Castellanos was thrown out at the plate in the 14th inning on a Brandon Dixon single.

Jose Alvarez, 30, who started his career in 2013 with the Tigers, kept Detroit off the board in the 14th after Castellanos doubled to open the inning. Alvarez (1-2) also worked the 15th and earned the win.

Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd lasted six innings, allowing five hits and two runs and striking out eight.

With two on and nobody out in the 13th inning, Philadelphia threw the lead runner out on Harold Castro’s bunt attempt, and then Miguel Cabrera bounced into a double play.

"We had a lot of opportunities, so did they," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You could say we missed them, so did they. It was one of those games where the pitching won out tonight."

Boyd threw six innings with the only runs allowed on a two-run home run from shortstop Roman Quinn, his first of the season.

Boyd, acquired in a 2015 deadline deal from Toronto for David Price, struck out eight batters as trade rumors continue to swirl nightly, but he said he's not worried about it.

"I think there's — we're having a kid in a month," Boyd said, "if I was going to worry, I'd worry about my wife's safety and my future son's safety and what not. Baseball is pretty minimal compared to that."

Tigers pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts and the bullpen allowed one run over nine innings of work.

Buck Farmer and Joe Jimenez each threw a perfect frame of relief for the Tigers, and All-Star closer Shane Greene allowed just one baserunner in the ninth. 

Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless 10th, striking out two, and Blaine Hardy stranded a runner on third in the 11th.

Nick Ramirez allowed just one baserunner in his three innings of work, but Daniel Stumpf took the loss after working the 15th.

After the start of the game was delayed 38 minutes because of rain, Boyd battled out of two-on rallies in the first and sixth innings unscathed.

Castellanos started the rally in the 14th inning, and had an RBI double in the sixth, scoring Castro and tying the score at 2. Castellanos, also on the trade block, leads the majors with 36 doubles.

Castro also scored in the first inning on a two-out, two-strike wild pitch by Aaron Nola after Castro hustled to second after reaching on an error.

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told reporters before the game that it was a pre-planned trip to Detroit for him, and not one specifically to scout Boyd as had been reported by some in the Philadelphia media. 

"It's not like there's a button that I'm going to push where everything is going to be OK," Boyd said. "If they call my name, they call my name. You just got to worry about whether you're going to wake up in the morning, why worry about stuff like that?"

In addition, it was reported by during the game that Washington had a “high-level” scout at the game.

In the second inning, Quinn hit a 1-0 pitch 434 feet to left field for his first home run of the season and a 2-0 lead.

Bryce Harper, in his first stop at Comerica Park since becoming a $330 million man this offseason, had a double in the first inning, and reached on a Castro error in the sixth.

However, he struck out in his next two at-bats, including in the 10th inning against Rosenthal, as the Comerica Park fans serenaded him with an "Over-rated" chant. He then grounded out in the 13th and popped out in the 15th.

Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.