Matt Boyd outduels Cole Hamels, Tigers snap losing skid with 2-0 victory

The Tigers needed to find some way to flip the script and snap their five-game losing streak on Saturday facing Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers. Hamels had won eight of his last decisions coming into game two of this three-game set.

It was definitely a tall task for Tigers starter Matt Boyd facing a Rangers club that is 18 games over .500 at home this season and whose record is second only to the Cubs in all of baseball. However, Boyd has been terrific over his last five starts, posting a 2.84 ERA during that stretch.


There was not much doing for either side through the first third of the game. Both the Tigers and Rangers stranded singles in the 1st inning. Detroit was able to load the bases in the 2nd with two outs, but were unable to cash in. Texas was able to get their second hit of the game in the 2nd, again nothing doing.

The Tigers again applied pressure to Hamels in the 3rd inning, getting runners on second and third with two outs. Casey McGehee had his second hit of the game through this point. Unfortunately once again, they could not make Hamels pay, stranding the two runners.

Through three innings, the Tigers had five hits, six base runners in total, against Hamels but nothing to show for it. Boyd’s only damage was a couple of singles, needing just 41 pitches to get through three.

(THRU 3: TIED 0-0)


Detroit continued their traffic on the base paths in the 4th, getting two hits and a walk in the inning. Unfortunately, Mike Aviles was thrown out at third trying to go first to third on a single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia Two batters later, Ian Kinsler doubled and Saltalamacchia tried to score from first, but was thrown out at home.

Boyd took the Rangers down in order for a second straight inning in the 4th. The scoreless tie was broken in the 5th after Detroit led off the inning with three straight hits. McGehee with his third knock of the game, followed by singles from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martínez gave Detroit a 1-0 lead, Martínez driving in McGehee. Justin Upton singled two batters later with one out to load the bases again against Hamels, but Aviles grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Another 1-2-3 inning for Boyd in the 5th extended his streak of ten batters set down in a row. The Tigers added to their slim lead in the 6th. The recently called up Dixon Machado singled with one out and two batters later with two down, McGehee recorded his fourth hit of the contest, a double to score Dixon and make it 2-0 Tigers. McGehee got to third later in the frame but never came around to score.

A walk to Shin-Soo Choo in the home half of the 6th with one out snapped a streak of 11 straight set down by Boyd but was able to work around it no problem.

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Hamels surrendered his career-high 14th hit of the game with two outs in the 7th to Mike Aviles, but he picked him off first base in the next at-bat to end the inning. Boyd answered the bell again, working around a two-out walk and escape unharmed. Both pitchers departed the game after seven innings of work:

  • M. Boyd: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • C. Hamels: 7 IP, 14 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Rangers reliever Keone Kela came on in place of Hamels in the 8th, walking the leadoff man Saltalamacchia but got the next three in order, two via the strikeout. In the bottom half, Shane Greene entered the game for the Tigers, his first appearance in a week after having some minor back issues. He seemed to have no bad effects of the extended rest, he too worked around a leadoff walk and got out of the inning three batters later.

Kela came back out for the 9th inning after throwing 18 pitches in the 8th, allowing just one base on balls with two outs. Tigers closer Francisco Rodríguez came on in the 9th, who has struggled some in his last couple outings. He gave up a leadoff single but got a fly out and double play to close out the game and snap the losing streak.

DET 1 1 2 14 13
TEX 3 5



Detroit and Texas wrap up their weekend series on Sunday to conclude this six-game trip out west. They give the ball to rookie Michael Fulmer (9-3, 2.43 ERA). He turned in another good outing his last time out (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER on 8/8 @ SEA), but suffered his first loss in nearly two months. He will oppose Texas right-hander A.J. Griffin (5-1, 4.38 ERA), who has an ERA approaching 7.00 over his first two starts in August.

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