One of the reasons the Indians have been slow out of the gate offensively this season has been the high volume of lefties they have encountered. On Sunday, Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd got his turn against the Tribe and spun six strong innings en route to a 4-1 victory at Progressive Field.
With the win, Detroit took two out of three against Cleveland, which dominated the Tigers last season to the tune of a 14-4 record. It’s the first series win for the Tigers at Progressive Field since June 22-24, 2015. Through a dozen games this year, though, the Indians have faced six left-handers. The two they ran into in this series — Daniel Norris and Boyd — combined to allow just one run over 12 innings.
“You hope it’s confidence that builds momentum for them,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of his young lefty starters. “There’s a pretty good chance they’ll see [the Indians] again.”
Cleveland’s only run off Boyd came in the sixth, when Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion singled in consecutive at-bats and then pulled off a double steal. Jose Ramirez then brought Brantley home with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Boyd, who scattered seven hits and ended with three strikeouts against two walks, received some early support from catcher Alex Avila. In the second, Avila crushed a fastball from right-hander Carlos Carrasco to center field for a two-run homer. That was all Carrasco yielded over 6 2/3 innings, in which he struck out five and issued five walks.
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