CHICAGO -- They got a quality start from rookie Matt Boyd on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, but the Tigers couldn't give him enough runs to make it count for more.
In fact, Detroit couldn't give Boyd or reliever Buck Farmer any run support in a 2-0 loss to the White Sox, which split the first two games of a series and dropped the Tigers a game behind the Orioles for the second Wild Card in the American League.
Baltimore rolled past the Rays, 11-2, while Detroit's offense sputtered against Chicago starter Miguel González and three relievers.
"He gave us a chance," center fielder Cameron Maybin said of Boyd, who recorded his fifth quality start by allowing two runs in seven innings. "That's all we can really ask for. He went out there and battled his butt off. He kept them in a situation where we could've done something special, but we didn't. So, we'll just try to come back [Wednesday] and finish the series right."
The Tigers (75-63) squandered threats to score in the third, seventh and ninth.
In the third, trailing 1-0 with one out and two on base, Maybin got doubled off first to end the inning. Former Tigers outfield Avisaíl García caught José Iglesias' soft liner to right for the second out and then fired to first to get Maybin.
"I was just aggressive," Maybin said. "I've got to execute better. I was just a little overaggressive. It's just unfortunate. Kind of ran us out of the inning."
Detroit then loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, trailing 2-0, but pinch-hitter JaCoby Jones and Maybin each struck out swinging to end the inning. In the ninth, facing White Sox closer David Robertson, the Tigers put two more runners on with one out, after narrowly missing a homer by J.D. Martinez to start the frame. Again they came up empty.
Robertson struck out Justin Upton, got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to pop out and ended the game by fanning pinch-hitter Tyler Collins.
"We put ourselves in position to score runs, and they didn't let us," said Upton, who'd hit late game-winning homers in the previous two games. "That's part of it. They get paid just like we do. They get paid to get outs, and we get paid to score runs. We just didn't score any runs."
The Tigers did, however, get a strong outing from Boyd. The left-hander, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day, threw a season-high 108 pitches and took his first loss since June 18 in Kansas City.
He began to tire in the sixth, but manager Brad Ausmus still let him start the seventh. Boyd not only started it, but managed to finished it, too.
The only runs he allowed in the outing were off a homer by José Abreu leading off the second and a run-scoring single in the fifth by Omar Narváez.
"It means a lot," Boyd said. "The goal is always to get as deep as you can and keep your team in position to win. It's awesome [to get the seventh]. You go out there and keep your foot on the gas until they pull back on the reins, so to speak."