Boyd throws 7 strong in Tigers debut, Detroit downs KC 2-1
DETROIT (AP) When the Detroit Tigers traded star pitcher David Price to the Blue Jays last week for three young left-handers, it was designed as a move for the future.
Turns out, it's working well in the present.
Three days after Daniel Norris dominated Baltimore, it was Matt Boyd's turn to pitch seven strong innings in a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Boyd received a standing ovation from the crowd of 34,628 after the seventh inning, and couldn't stop a grin from spreading across his face.
''That was awesome - that's a moment that I'm never going to forget,'' said Boyd, moments after receiving the lineup card in honor of his first career win. ''I told Daniel in the dugout that we're home here.''
As a fly-ball pitcher, Boyd is already enjoying pitching at cavernous Comerica Park instead of the smaller Rogers Centre.
''I love this place already,'' he said with a laugh. ''Not only is it bigger, but it looks like a real baseball stadium with all that iron and the ivy.''
Boyd only allowed one run on seven hits and didn't walk a batter in a career-long seven innings.
''He was great out there,'' said Tigers catcher James McCann. ''It has been exciting to see these new guys pitch - the results are obvious, but these are two young guys showing a ton of poise and pitching with a game plan. Matt is a guy who can live up in the zone, because he's mixing three breaking balls in with a riding fastball.
''Once I catch these two a few more times, it will be even better.''
Bruce Rondon pitched the eighth before Blaine Hardy and Alex Wilson combined to finish off the Royals. Hardy got the first two outs, helped by a running catch by J.D. Martinez, before Wilson retired Alex Rios for his second save.
After the game, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus confirmed that Wilson will be the closer to replace Joakim Soria, who was traded to Pittsburgh. Wilson has been the team's long man, set-up man and even made a spot start earlier in the season.
''We would be in a lot of trouble without Alex Wilson,'' Ausmus said. ''Given everything he's done for us this year, he has earned the chance to finish out games.''
Johnny Cueto (7-7) couldn't pick up his first win for Kansas City despite only allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. Cueto walked two and struck out two.
''That's part of the game,'' Cueto said through an interpreter. ''I know that I just have to do my job and my team will take care of the rest.''
The Tigers broke a scoreless tie in the third when Gose's two-out triple over the head of Lorenzo Cain brought home Tyler Collins.
''We had a plan of playing Gose shallow, and it just backfired on us,'' Cain said.
Kansas City got its own RBI triple in the fourth, this one off the bat of Kendrys Morales. It was his first triple since 2012 - also against Detroit - and just the fifth of his nine-year career.
Yet another triple let the Tigers regain the lead in their half of the fourth. Kinsler hit it into the right-centerfield gap and scored on Victor Martinez's groundout.
Rios singled and moved to third on a bad pickoff throw in the fifth, but Boyd got out of the jam.
''He was pitching up in the zone, but we couldn't catch up with his fastball,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Royals: OF Alex Gordon (groin strain) took indoor batting practice at Comerica Park on Tuesday and hit soft tosses outside on Wednesday. Gordon, who has been out since July 8, is hoping to progress to shagging balls and full batting practice later this week with an eye to returning in late August.
Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera (calf strain) has been told to back off on his rehab work, now that the Tigers are falling out of the postseason race. Cabrera, who had been hoping to return in mid-August, now is only saying that he expects to be back this season. . LHP Kyle Lobstein (shoulder) made a rehab outing with Single-A Lakeland, allowing two runs in three innings in his first outing since going on the disabled list in May.
The teams finish a three-game series Thursday afternoon with Yordano Ventura (6-7, 4.98) facing Anibal Sanchez (10-9, 4.77). Ventura is 5-2 with a 3.97 ERA in day games this season, compared with just 1-5 with a 6.11 ERA in night games.