MINNEAPOLIS -- Everything seemed to be working for Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd on Sunday at Target Field.Boyd had a great feel for his entire repertoire, and used it in the right spots to rack up a career-best eight strikeouts in the 9-6 victory over the Twins. He threw a season-high
MINNEAPOLIS -- Everything seemed to be working for Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd on Sunday at Target Field.
Boyd had a great feel for his entire repertoire, and used it in the right spots to rack up a career-best eight strikeouts in the 9-6 victory over the Twins. He threw a season-high 105 pitches, while allowing three runs over six-plus innings.
Still, when Boyd looked back at his outing, he was haunted by his three walks.
"It feels good, everything was working. The walks are something I wish didn't happen," Boyd said. "That's just purely execution, that's something I could have changed. It almost came back to bite me. All in all though, I'll take a win and series win any way."
Boyd's efforts propelled Detroit to its third series victory in as many meetings over Minnesota and wrapped up a winning road trip. For Boyd, it marked the third straight outing in which he lasted six innings and gave up three runs. All three starts have come this month, because of the absence of left-hander Daniel Norris in the rotation.
Norris, who has been on the shelf since July 6 with a left groin strain, began his rehab assignment on July 18. However, the 24-year-old lefty was unable to complete the opening frame during his second rehab start with Triple-A Toledo on Sunday.
Norris exited the game with an apparent injury after throwing 32 pitches, according to a tweet by Nate Rowan, who works in the public relations department for the Triple-A affiliate in Rochester.
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus wasn't able to comment on the injury following the 4 hour, 19 minute game, which set a Twins' franchise record for longest nine-inning game.
"It was a long, there is no question about that," Ausmus said. "We can play as long as we have to, as long as we come out with a W."
Due to the unknown status of Norris, Boyd's showing was all the more welcoming for a rotation in need of being stabilized with the non-waiver Trade Deadline drawing near. Boyd's only clean innings came in the second and sixth frames. He was lifted after a leadoff single in the seventh.
But Boyd showed the ability to persevere through any situation. He struck out the side in the first inning after allowing a leadoff double to James Dozier. Eduardo Escobar belted a 2-1 fastball into the seats to tie the game in the third, but Boyd then buckled down and punched out All-Star Miguel Sano. He whiffed two batters in the fourth after a leadoff walk.
The 17 swinging strikes by Boyd matched his career-best. He also accomplished that on Sept. 6, 2016, against the White Sox. Amid all that, for Boyd, the walks loomed large.
"When I struck out guys, I was executing," Boyd said. "I just didn't execute those three walks. To me that's unacceptable. That's something that's purely in your control. That's the one part I would like to have back."
Following the game, the Tigers announced that they have optioned outfielder Jim Adduci to Triple-A Toledo and will recall right-hander Drew VerHagen. The team will go with a three-man bench, to help provide a fresh arm for a taxed bullpen.
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. He covered the Tigers on Sunday.