Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd sat in the dugout with a Gatorade towel over his mouth. A look of disappointment flashed across his face.
He had just given up seven runs and couldn’t record an out in the third inning, forcing manager Ron Gardenhire to bench him.
His offense couldn’t help him this time, either.
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The Tigers (19-22) only got one hit against Milwaukee Brewers starter Corbin Burnes, who paced his team’s 19-0 victory with an 11 strikeout, no-walk performance through seven innings.
With the loss, Detroit drops to 1½ games behind the New York Yankees for the AL’s eighth and final spot in the postseason. The Yankees have lost five games in a row and are in the middle of a three-game series with the Blue Jays.
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The only time the Tigers threatened was in the fifth inning, when shortstop Willi Castro launched a 421-foot stand-up triple off the wall in deep right-center field. He added a single in the eighth and was the only Tiger to reach base.
Meanwhile, the Brewers had 21 hits — eight doubles and five home runs. They scored three runs in the second inning, one in the third, three in the fourth, five in the sixth, three in the seventh and four more in the ninth.
Reliever John Schreiber allowed two runs, while both Rony Garcia and Kyle Funkhouser allowed three apiece. Joe Jimenez, however, pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
The Tigers play a doubleheader Thursday in St. Louis against the Cardinals before traveling to Chicago for a three-game slate with the White Sox.
What happened to Boyd?
Boyd’s last three starts across 11⅓ innings were excellent with 2.38 ERA, 12 strikeouts and one walk. This improvement came after his ERA reached 9.64 and allowed eight homers in his first five outings this season.
He took a massive step back Wednesday as 12 of the 19 Brewers he faced reached base. His ERA jumped to 7.63.
Of his eight hits allowed, four went for doubles and two were home runs. He threw 78 pitches, using 50% four-seam fastballs, 24% change-ups, 21% sliders and 3% each with the curveball and sinker.
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His change-up has brought him success in recent starts, but this time, he was unable to get a called strike with his off speed pitch and only produced two swinging strikes. He left a 77.4 mph chang-eup up in the zone to Jacob Nottingham in the fourth, resulting in a two-run homer to put the Tigers behind 6-0.
In total, he got eight strikes swinging and 13 called strikes. His fastball averaged 91.6 mph.
Let the kids play
Trailing 12-0 entering the seventh inning, the Tigers put their future on the field, inserting Sergio Alcantara at second base and Derek Hill in center field.
The infield featured Isaac Paredes at third, Castro at shortstop, Alcantara at second and Jeimer Candelario at first base. The outfield had Hill in center, Daz Cameron, in his major league debut, in right field and veteran Jorge Bonifacio in left field. Cameron went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
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The Tigers even used 22-year-old Rony Garcia and 26-year-old Kyle Funkhouser — both rookies — in sixth and seventh innings. And in the bottom of the seventh, Travis Demeritte entered at designated hitter for Miguel Cabrera.
Demeritte on the mound
Demeritte, an outfielder, took the mound for the top of the ninth and gave up four runs. Jedd Gyorko homered for his second time, and Tyrone Taylor added his third extra-base hit with a two-run blast.
Luis Urias singled to drive in Orlando Arica, which was his fifth RBI of the game.
Demeritte’s fastball sat between 80-81 mph. It was his first pitching appearance in his career.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content.