Boyd’s return a good sign despite Tigers’ loss

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT — Not even a passing downpour could cool off longtime Tigers nemesis and current Blue Jays starter José Berríos on Sunday at Comerica Park. Matthew Boyd couldn’t do anything about that. All he and the bullpen that followed him could do is keep the Tigers close.

Though Boyd remains winless against his original organization after Detroit’s 2-1 loss, his four innings in his first Tigers start since June 14 was a small victory on its own. An arm injury that initially looked like an absence of a few weeks was later feared to be a season-ender. Detroit held its rotation together with its talented young hurlers and a couple of surprising midseason contributors. But the club needed an effective veteran.

This is the role Boyd was hoped to fill going into the season, and he was effectively answering the call for a good portion of the early season before getting hurt. His first outing back suggests that he can do it again, an important development not only for September as the Tigers watch their young starters’ innings, but for next year as general manager Al Avila tries to put together a rotation to contend.

Boyd’s 27-pitch opening inning looked like a throwback to his season, a leadoff strikeout of Marcus Semien followed by a home run against a right-handed hitter in Bo Bichette. A Vladimir Guerrero Jr. single and a two-out walk to Alejandro Kirk created a chance for more, but Boyd ended the threat with a changeup to fan Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

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