Injury sends Detroit Tigers to bullpen in Game 2 loss to White Sox
Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd trotted off the pitch, down the steps and into the clubhouse after 36 pitches in the second inning.
In an emergency, the right Michael Fulmer was called from the bullpen. Boyd was removed from his start with tendinitis of the left knee. The severity of his injury and the schedule for his return remain unclear.
The White Sox scored four runs in the second inning (and seven in the fifth) to give the Tigers (8-18) an 11-11 defeat in Game 2 of Thursday’s seven-inning double header at Guaranteed Rate Field. Detroit lost the three-game series after winning the opener on Tuesday. The Tigers have lost 12 of their last 14 games.
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During the three-game game with the White Sox, the Tigers’ offensive went 11 to 81 (.136) with six runs, four walks and 31 spikes. In the double header on Thursday alone, which made up a total of 14 innings, the offense was 5:47 (.106) with one run, one walk and 22 rashes.
In the fifth inning, the White Sox scored seven runs. Yoan Moncada and Yermin Mercedes knocked out the home races for four of the seven runs allowed by Reliefs Derek Holland and Alex Lange. Lead-off batsman Tim Anderson, notorious for causing problems for the Tigers, went 5-1 in Game 2 with four times.
White Sox starter Dylan Cease threw every seven innings. He gave up three hits – two in the first inning and one in the second inning – and withdrew the last 17 batters to end the game. He did not allow a walk.
Detroit begins a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Friday at 7:05 pm in New York. The left-hander Tarik Skubal starts against the right winger Gerrit Cole. After facing the Yankees, the Tigers will end their nine game road trip with three games against the Boston Red Sox.
What happened to Boyd?
Boyd didn’t seem to mind until he got off the hill after a fastball in second place against Leury Garcia in the second inning. Sports coach Doug Teter, manager AJ Hinch, pitching coach Chris Fetter, and catcher Wilson Ramos went to check on him.
After talking, Boyd left the game with a knee injury.
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In the first inning, Boyd Anderson allowed a leadoff single, but he came back with consecutive swinging strikeouts on difficult bats with Luis Robert and Moncada. He hit Robert with a slider for the seventh pitch and Moncada with a change for the sixth pitch.
Boyd gave a single to Jose Abreu on a well-placed fastball, but Mercedes flew out on his move to keep the White Sox off goal.
He got all six of his swings and misses in the first inning: three with his four-seam fastball, two with his move, and one with his slider. For his 36 parking spaces, he used 21 foursome, nine changes, two curveballs and two sliders.
On Thursday, Boyd had an ERA of 1.82 through 34 innings in five starts. He had allowed six walks, 22 strikes, and only one home run. He gave up two runs with three hits and one step with two strokes in a plus inning against the White Sox.
Fulmer takes over
Fulmer took a three-day break and entered from the bullpen to take over Boyd. (Earlier this week, Hinch switched roles between Fulmer and Skubal. Previously, Fulmer was on the rotation and Skubal was working in the Bullpen, so it was not surprising that Fulmer was available as a helper in Chicago.)
Fulmer released two back-to-back singles to begin his outing – he pushed home two runs inherited from Boyd – before knocking Anderson with three swinging punches, finishing him for the first time with a fastball of 95.8 mph. Robert field for the second field on the right field.
But Fulmer worked his way into a problem and went to Moncada to load the bases. Abreu scored two runs and gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead. Fulmer took the final in the second inning with a comeback from Mercedes.
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Fulmer tossed a single and a walk in the third inning (his second frame) and was hit by Yasmani Grandal and Anderson. He threw 27 of his 47 pitches for strikes and reached a top speed of 98.2 mph with his sinker.
He got 10 swings and misses: five with his fastballs with four seams, three with his slider and one each with his sinker and his change.
The rest of the way
After Boyd and Fulmer, the Tigers turned to right-handed Buck Farmer (fourth inning), Holland (fifth inning), Lange (fifth inning) and left-handed Tyler Alexander (sixth inning).
Holland gave up four runs with three hits and one step without getting one. He has an ERA of 14.63 this season after inviting the team as a non-squad participant in spring training. Lange allowed three runs with three hits. He got a strikeout and finished the fifth inning with 26 pitches.
Farmer and Alexander were the only helpers who posted scoreless innings.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.