Boyd leaves start with left arm discomfort

Detroit Tigers

KANSAS CITY — The Tigers’ pitching injury woes worsened Monday, when Matthew Boyd left his start against the Royals in the third inning with what the team called left arm discomfort.

Boyd spent Monday evening undergoing further evaluation.

It’s the second early exit for Boyd this season, having left an April 29 start against the White Sox in the second inning. In that case, the cause was left knee tendinitis, and he returned two weeks later after missing a turn in the rotation. He had made every start on time since then, though he struggled in four of those six outings before Monday.

Boyd worked in and out of trouble in the first two innings and struck out Michael A. Taylor to begin the third. Back-to-back singles from Whit Merrifield and Carlos Santana sent Boyd off the mound to back up third base. As soon as he returned to the mound, he called for Tigers head athletic trainer Doug Teter.

Boyd did not attempt a warmup pitch, talking briefly with Teter before the two headed off the mound and back to the clubhouse. Joe Jiménez, pitching for the fourth time in five days, replaced Boyd and stranded both runners. Two innings later, however, reliever Alex Lange also left the game with right shoulder discomfort, after giving up a walk, an RBI single and a double while recording only one out.

The Tigers were able to keep Boyd off the injured list after his April knee injury thanks to off-days and a relatively healthy rotation. But they are facing a plethora of issues lately. Spencer Turnbull is on the IL with a right forearm strain and is just beginning his rehab process this week. Detroit had been filling his spot with bullpen games, including Kyle Funkhouser in a spot start Sunday against the White Sox. José Ureña further taxed the Tigers’ bullpen with a second-inning exit Saturday, eventually leading to catcher Jake Rogers and infielder Harold Castro pitching the final two innings.

Rony García would be an option to start, having done so at Triple-A Toledo, but he injured his left knee in pregame warmups last week and is expected to undergo surgery to repair his patella. Veteran swingman Erasmo Ramírez is on the IL with a right pectoralis strain. Veteran starter Julio Teheran is still a long way from a return after going on the IL in April with a right shoulder strain.

The Tigers don’t have much help available at Toledo, where injuries have depleted the Mud Hens as well. Top pitching prospect Matt Manning is by all indications healthy, but he struggled through a rough opening month before looking better in his most recent start. He’s currently scheduled to start for Toledo on Tuesday at Indianapolis.

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