EditorsNote: Minor fixes; added info in 10th graph about Yankees dropping second straight series
Matthew Boyd set a career high with 13 strikeouts in 6 1/3 outstanding innings, and Gordon Beckham hit the tiebreaking home run leading off the eighth inning as the Detroit Tigers concluded their season-opening road trip with a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
Boyd recorded his third career double-digit strikeout game and became the first Tigers pitcher to open a season with consecutive double-digit strikeout performances since 1908. He also recorded the most strikeouts by a Detroit pitcher since Max Scherzer fanned 14 on Aug. 14, 2014, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Boyd also set a record for the most strikeouts by a visiting pitcher at the current Yankee Stadium. He became the first Tigers pitcher to strike out 13 Yankees since Justin Verlander on Aug. 6, 2012.
Beckham hit Detroit’s second homer of the season and first in six games when he lifted a 1-0, four-seam, 94-mph fastball from Chad Green (0-1) over the right-center field fence. Beckham’s 383-foot drive was his first homer since Aug. 28, 2016, against the San Francisco Giants when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.
Boyd allowed one run on five hits while constantly changing speeds and getting 11 swinging third strikes. He induced a career-high 26 swings-and-misses and frequently kept the Yankees off-balance with an array of off-speed pitches.
The left-hander recorded inning-ending strikeouts in the fifth and sixth with a runner at second. He exited after fanning Mike Tauchman on his 98th pitch with one out in the seventh.
Buck Farmer (1-0) fanned DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge to end the seventh. Joe Jimenez struck out two in a scoreless eighth and had some help from catcher John Hicks, who made a perfect throw to get pinch-runner Brett Gardner on an attempted steal of second.
Shane Greene tossed a perfect ninth and recorded his fourth save.
Nicholas Castellanos scored Detroit’s other run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth by Christin Stewart off Yankees starter Jonathan Loaisiga.
Judge’s run-scoring single in the third accounted for New York’s lone run. The Yankees, who lost two out of three to Detroit to drop their second straight series, fell to 2-4 and struck out 18 times, setting the record for their most strikeouts in a nine-inning game.
The strikeouts and lack of offense were not the only problems for the Yankees. Already without position players Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar, New York lost shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to a strained left calf after the third inning and he went for further testing.
Loaisiga allowed one run and one hit in four innings. He issued three walks and struck out four.
—Field Level Media