Boyd outduels Cueto to earn 1st MLB victory

Boyd outduels Cueto to earn 1st MLB victory

DETROIT -- The Tigers evened their three-game series against the Royals with an unlikely gem from Matt Boyd, who induced one fly ball after another from a formidable Kansas City lineup for seven innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

Six days after coming over from the Blue Jays in the non-waiver Trade Deadline deal for David Price, Boyd used the spacious outfield dimensions in his new home park to his advantage for his first Major League victory. Working up in the zone time and again, true to his Minor League resume, he recorded 12 flyouts and popouts compared with three groundouts. He also allowed seven hits, but Kendrys Morales' two-out triple in the fourth was the only one that scored a run.

"He pitches up very well with his fastball," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He gets a lot of fly balls, a lot of foul balls, even some swings and misses. He mixed in three offspeed pitches, at times all of them good. He did an excellent job, really."

Morales' first triple since 2012 -- off then-Tiger Max Scherzer -- tied the game after Anthony Gose drove in Tyler Collins with a two-out triple over Lorenzo Cain's head in the third. Ian Kinsler restored Detroit's lead by scoring on a groundout after his triple in the fourth, and Boyd (1-2) allowed just two hits the rest of the way.

Kinsler's triple

That left Johnny Cueto (7-7 overall, 0-1 with K.C.) with the hard-luck loss in his second start as a Royal. He allowed just five hits over seven innings, but two were triples.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Just Gose to show: Gose hadn't tripled since July 6, and had only one extra- base hit of any sort since July 17. But he made Cain pay for playing in on him with a drive over his head in near-straightaway center, scoring Collins from third and sending Cain in a full-speed chase.

Gose's RBI triple

"I thought I hit it pretty good," Gose said. "He's good out there. He's got a chance to win a Gold Glove this year. He's pretty special out there in the outfield. You never know."

Legging one out: Morales isn't known for his speed, but he plated the Royals' only run with an RBI triple in the fourth inning. The designated hitter's gapper into left-center rolled to the wall, easily scoring Eric Hosmer from first and allowing Morales to cruise around the basepaths for his fifth career three-bagger and first since 2012.

Moose hunt: Twice, Mike Moustakas stepped to the plate against Boyd with a chance to drive in a run from third with two out. Both times, Boyd got him to pop out on fastballs, ending the fourth and sixth. Moustakas did hit a double, but it came with two out and none on in the second.

"We didn't want him to get his hands extended," catcher James McCann said. "We wanted to find a way to tie him up or to keep him off-balance with the offspeed stuff. He put a couple good swings on the ball tonight. Thankfully, Boyd was able to keep him in check after that hit off him his first at-bat."

Fair-ly unlucky: Cueto tossed a gem for Kansas City, escaping jams in the fifth and sixth to finish with just two runs allowed over seven innings, but his night could have looked even better were it not for Collins' bloop double to lead off the third inning. The Detroit outfielder's fly ball dropped just fair in shallow left field, and Jefry Marte sacrificed Collins over to third before Gose's run-scoring triple. More >

Cueto's solid outing

"I thought [Cueto] was great," manager Ned Yost said. "He had all of his pitches working, had a really good slider, really good changeup, spotted his fastball well. The one mistake, he got a pitch out up and over to Gose that he drove over Lorenzo's head, but outside of that, he was fantastic."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Both of Cueto's outings since being dealt to the Royals have been quality starts, but the righty hasn't earned a win in either appearance.

Entering Wednesday, Comerica Park had the fifth-highest park factor for triples in the Majors, according to ESPN.com.

WHAT'S NEXT
Royals: Right-hander Yordano Ventura, who has earned wins in three of his last four outings, will start the finale of this three-game road set on Thursday at 12:08 p.m. CT.

Tigers: Right-hander Anibal Sanchez gets the ball on Thursday at 1:08 p.m. ET in the series finale at Comerica Park.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.