Command eludes Boyd in loss to Chicago

Tigers left-hander is 0-4 in last five starts

Command eludes Boyd in loss to Chicago

CHICAGO -- Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd admits that not every pitch can be perfect. But of the 100 he threw Friday night, there's just one imperfect pitch that stuck in his mind.

It was an 83 mph changeup with the bases loaded that stayed up to White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia, which Garcia quickly turned on for a bases-clearing double. The three runs that scored on that play were all that the Sox pitching staff needed to hand Detroit an 8-2 loss.

"It was the difference of the game," Boyd said. "That's on me. I made a bad pitch, he hit it, and it's unfortunate that three runs scored on that, and that was the deciding run of the game."

Boyd lasted 4 2/3 innings, marking the fourth time this season he has been unable to complete five innings. He struggled to maintain his mechanics, according to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, losing his command in the process.

"He kept battling, and I give him credit for that," Ausmus said. "He kept us in the game by battling. But his mechanics were out of whack. He was dropping a little bit and spinning, so that affected his command. A lack of command affected his pitch count."

Boyd was only responsible for the three runs, but saw his pitch count balloon to 100 pitches. Even when he was in the strike zone, he struggled to avoid hard contact. The White Sox made contact with an exit velocity greater than 100 mph five times against Boyd, according to Statcast™, with four of those falling for hits. The lone hard-hit ball that didn't fall was a 107 mph lineout off the bat of White Sox catcher Kevan Smith -- with a hit probability of 84 percent -- that left fielder Justin Upton was able to track down.

It all blew up with two outs in the third inning, as Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu -- each of whom finished with three hits -- singled and Todd Frazier reached on a walk. Then came Garcia's double, laced down the left-field line.

"My pitch count blew up in one inning, and I came out of my delivery in one inning, and I wish I would have made the adjustment and taken that one pitch back so I could have stayed in the game for a little bit," Boyd said.

Boyd is 0-4 with a 6.92 ERA in his last five starts. The left-hander said he needs to develop more consistency in his delivery.

"I've got to be better at just not letting that happen and identifying it," Boyd said. "I'm going to make the adjustment and make it happen, so that it doesn't. There's always things that happen and times where something's going to feel out of sync, but you won't feel perfect for 110 pitches every night. I'll fix it."

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago. He covered the Tigers on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.