Detroit Tigers starter Matthew Boyd, reliever Alex Lange leave game with injuries

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd realized something was wrong with his arm and signaled to manager AJ Hinch in the dugout.

Moments later, Boyd walked off the mound and into the clubhouse with athletic trainer Doug Teter. He was removed from Monday’s game against the Kansas City Royals in the third inning with left arm discomfort.

In the fifth inning, right-handed reliever Alex Lange left with right shoulder discomfort.

“As soon as we got out there, he said he felt a little something in his tricep,” Hinch said about Boyd’s injury. “Doug asked him, ‘Was it just that one pitch or has it been the entire inning?’ He said, ‘The entire inning, it just feels funny.’ We immediately removed him from the game.”

Boyd, who needs further evaluation, threw 41 pitches, 29 for strikes. He pitched 2⅓ scoreless innings, allowing five hits — all singles — without issuing a walk. He struck out two batters.

“We’re going to have to do something,” Hinch said. “I don’t know quite yet what the plan will be, but we’ll be very cautious with him. We’ve talked about injuries throughout the whole league, and also on our team, for the last month or so. There’s been a lot of concern around the league. We’re going to be very conservative with this, but I don’t know what that is yet.”

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Lange recorded one out in the fifth inning, threw 16 pitches and allowed one run. Leading 7-2, the Tigers replaced him with righty Kyle Funkhouser, who started Sunday’s bullpen game. Entering Monday, Lange had a 6.89 ERA, eight walks and 20 strikeouts over 15⅔ innings in 17 appearances.

“I think Lange is going to end up on the injured list from the initial diagnosis,” Hinch said. “He’s had some shoulder issues. I didn’t even get out to the mound. (Pitching coach Chris) Fetter was going out to visit him, just in general, and he mentioned (his shoulder) to Fett. Fett got the trainer out there, and Doug came out.

“By the time I got to the line, they were already walking off the mound. I didn’t get a lot of information on him other than he said his shoulder was bugging him.”

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This is the second time this season Boyd has left his start earlier than expected.

He walked off the mound in the second inning April 29 against the Chicago White Sox after throwing 34 pitches. He was diagnosed with left knee tendinitis and missed his next start but avoided a trip to the injured list.

Entering Monday, Boyd had a 3.56 ERA, 19 walks and 54 strikeouts over 68⅓ innings in 12 starts. He was initially scheduled to pitch Sunday’s series finale against the White Sox, but Hinch went with a bullpen-only game to give Boyd — along with others in the starting rotation — an extra day to rest.

“It’s just tough to see that,” Tigers reliever Michael Fulmer said. “You pray for those guys and wish them the best. Hopefully, everything is good with both of them.”

The Tigers are already without right-handed starter Spencer Turnbull, who leads the rotation with a 2.88 ERA in nine starts. He is on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain and recently traveled to Lakeland, Florida, to start his rehabilitation.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzoldRead more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter

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