TIGERS (22-33) AT BRAVES (31-27)
1:20 p.m. ET; FSSO, FS-D, MLB.TV
Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd will try to extend his streak of 12 shutout innings when he starts the final game of a three-game road series against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Atlanta’s starter will be veteran right-hander Julio Teheran (3-4, 3.53), who will oppose Boyd (5-4, 2.85) for the first time.
The teams split the first two games of the series. Detroit won the opener 8-2, but Atlanta won 10-5 win on Saturday. That ended the Braves’ three-game losing streak and stopped the Tigers’ three-game winning streak.
Boyd pitched six shutout innings in his last start, on Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles. He allowed six hits, one walk and struck out eight. That marked his first win since May 8, even though he pitched six scoreless frames and finished with a no-decision against the Miami Marlins on May 23, when he gave up five hits and one walk while fanning seven.
“His fastball was jumping,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said after Boyd’s last start. “He had a good feel for it.”
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde was impressed after Boyd’s last performance against his club.
“He really pitches well to right-handers,” Hyde said. “You saw us take a lot of fastball strike 3s on the inside black. He has a sweeping slider that dives right at your feet. It starts as a strike and ends up as a ball underneath.”
Boyd, a distant relative of Hall of Famer Bob Feller, has 88 strikeouts in 72 2/3 innings and carries a 1.02 WHIP.
Teheran is coming off one of the best months of his career. Although he only went 1-0 in five starts in May, he compiled a 0.98 ERA, allowing five runs, three earned, in 27 2/3 innings during the month. Teheran did not allow a home run, struck out 19 and walked 15.
In his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 26, Teheran worked five innings and allowed three runs, although only one was earned. He walked four, hit two batters and struck out one.
Teheran faced the Tigers once in his career, that in 2016 in the final game played at Turner Field. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowed three hits and struck out 12 and outdueled Detroit ace Justin Verlander in a game Atlanta won 1-0.
Perhaps Teheran can figure out a way to stop Detroit shortstop Niko Goodrum. The Georgia native has enjoyed his homecoming, going 7-for-10 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, five runs scored and four RBIs in the two games. Goodrum has raised his batting average from .208 to .234 in the series.
Atlanta rookie Austin Riley continues to provide unprecedented power numbers. He hit his eighth home run on Saturday in his 16th game in the major leagues. He joins Rhys Hoskins, Carlos Delgado and Trevor Story as the only other players to hit at least eight homers in the first 16 games of their career.
Riley also tied the mark for the most RBIs through his first 16 games, with 22 (also done by Jim Greengrass in 1952 and Mandy Brooks in 1925). Riley is batting .349 with a 1.150 OPS.
He had one of three Atlanta homers on Saturday. They could not have come at a better time.
“It was much needed,” Riley said. “We got some key hits. It was a good day.”
–Field Level Media