DETROIT — What had been an encouraging stretch for Matthew Boyd ended with eight runs over three-plus innings Wednesday against the Brewers. What has been a surprising run into contention for the Tigers came back to one key point in a 19-0 loss: The Tigers need consistent starting pitching to
DETROIT — What had been an encouraging stretch for Matthew Boyd ended with eight runs over three-plus innings Wednesday against the Brewers. What has been a surprising run into contention for the Tigers came back to one key point in a 19-0 loss: The Tigers need consistent starting pitching to stay in the postseason chase.
They were hoping to get that Wednesday from Boyd, who had rebounded from his rough opening month with three solid starts in a row. And as the Brewers churned out four second-inning doubles in a five-batter span to move in front, it was clear Boyd would get plenty of opportunities to work through his command issues. But after an infield single, two-run homer and a five-pitch walk pushed Boyd over the 75-pitch mark with nobody out in the fourth inning, manager Ron Gardenhire had little choice but to go to his bullpen early.
By the ninth inning, Gardenhire had similarly little choice but to turn to a position player to pitch, an option he hates. But the Tigers had already churned through four relievers the day before a doubleheader in St. Louis, with a key three-game series against the White Sox awaiting them in Chicago after that.
Kyle Funkhouser, who pitched two valuable innings of relief for his first Major League win Sunday in Minnesota, gave up three runs in the seventh. Joe Jiménez, who had moved from closer to a setup role to get more regular work, pitched a scoreless eighth inning in a 15-run game out of necessity.
Outfielder Travis Demeritte entered for the ninth throwing 81 mph fastballs, one of which Jedd Gyorko hit into the left-field seats for his second homer of the day, another of which Tyrone Taylor hit out for his first Major League homer and the final margin.
Boyd (1-6) finished with seven runs allowed on eight hits over three-plus innings, walking four and striking out two. His ERA rose from 6.64 to 7.63. Six of those hits went for extra bases. His changeup, which had become an effective pitch for him over his previous few starts, was of little help Wednesday to get hitters off his fastball.
By contrast, Corbin Burnes struck out 11 Tigers over seven innings. The only hit he allowed was Willi Castro’s 421-foot triple off the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field in the fifth inning.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck’s Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.