Boyd's Quality Start, Hot Bats Lead to 8-2 Win Over Twins
Jason Ross Jr.
The Tigers are coming off a series win over the NL-Central leading Chicago Cubs, so why not follow that up with an 8-2 victory over a Twins team that began the day leading the Al-Central. Minnesota has taken an abrupt fall to third in the division after their loss in game one of Saturday's doubleheader.
Boyd continues on the right path.
Matthew Boyd continues to head in the right direction after piecing together his first quality start of 2020. His last outing was a duel with the Indians' Triston Mckenzie, who ultimately won the battle, but Boyd showed signs of progress.
The improvement displayed in 5 ⅓ innings against Cleveland flowed directly into his most impressive outing of the year in the first of two against Minnesota on Saturday. The day began with Boyd needing only 20 pitches to glide through the first two innings.
The incorporation of 17 changeups and 18 sliders made his fastball all the more effective vs. Minnesota's power-packed lineup.
"I'm a four-pitch pitcher," Boyd said. "Doesn't mean I can't be a two-pitch pitcher or three-pitch pitcher some days. You have to roll with what's working. But it's nice to have that to keep guys off balance."
History didn't favor Matthew Boyd entering the day; the eight home runs that he allowed in 19 innings vs. Minnesota last season were the most he allowed against any team. Today, he limited the damage by allowing just one solo home run to the Twins' ageless wonder Nelson Cruz.
Boyd (1-4) earned his first victory since September of 2019 vs. the White Sox at Comerica Park.
An unusual day for Randy Dobnak
Randy Dobnak entered Saturday afternoon with a 1.78 ERA (sixth in MLB) and a streak of five consecutive wins. Detroit's hitters appeared to be keenly aware of Dobnak's formula for success. The right-hander typically stays down in the zone, utilizing a sinker 44.5% of the time.
The Tigers kept their eyes down en-route to 12 hits off Dobnak, which accounted for the most he's allowed all season, and more than his previous six starts combined.
The outing began with a relatively clean first inning but culminated with Dobnak repeatedly slamming his glove on the dugout bench after leaving the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
Detroit scored multiple runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings en route to a 16-hit afternoon. The Tigers also made the most of their opportunities by going 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Every Tiger recorded a hit, and Victor Reyes made an especially notable contribution, recording the third four-hit game of his career.
Dobnak allowed six earned runs, snapping a streak of not giving up more than two in any of his previous starts this season.