Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers
When and Where: Tuesday, Aug. 13, Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich., 7:10 p.m. EDT.
Kikuchi tries to build on solid outing and shake off road woes
Kikuchi (4-8, 5.34 ERA) has had his ups and downs his rookie season after signing a four-year $56 million contract with the Mariners in January. The left-hander’s last win came June 23 against Baltimore, and he enters this contest 0-3 with a 5.89 ERA in his last seven starts.
Yusei Kikuchi has allowed 24 HR in his last 70 2/3 IP.
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) August 7, 2019
Keeping the ball in the park has been a constant struggle for Kikuchi, who has given up 11 homers in 36 2-3 innings during his winless stretch and is tied with Justin Verlander and J.A. Happ for the most home runs allowed in the American League with 29.
Kikuchi did settle down in his last outing after allowing a leadoff homer to Fernando Tatis Jr on Wednesday, limiting San Diego to three other hits over five innings and striking out eight. The southpaw was in line for a victory, but the Mariners bullpen squandered a 2-1 lead before eventually winning 3-2.
“Yusei was outstanding today, in that he went into the game trying to make an adjustment with his mechanics and he did,” manager Scott Servais noted to the Mariners’ official website. “He got some results. The ball had life on it today. That was the difference. He had a lot of swing and miss on the slider and fastball and his curveball was pretty good. It was definitely a step in the right direction.”
Carrying that form to the road could be challenging for Kikuchi, who is 0-3 with an 8.39 ERA in his last six starts outside Seattle since beating the New York Yankees on May 8. The southpaw, though, was effective against the Tigers at home July 26, giving up a pair of solo homers in 6 2-3 innings before the Mariners rallied for a 3-2 victory.
Seattle, which has lost eight of nine after being swept in a three-game series by Tampa Bay over the weekend, is opening a nine-game road swing that also makes stops in Toronto and Tampa.
Boyd takes step back after rough outing versus Royals
Boyd (6-8, 4.16) has not won since the 4th of July and has gone 0-2 with a 5.08 ERA in his last six starts. The left-hander, though, had put together a run of decent starts for the Tigers before taking a step back last time out.
AL DRA Leaders:
1. LANCE LYNN (2.71)
2. Justin Verlander (2.82)
3. Charlie Morton (2.89)
4. Chris Sale (2.90)
5. Gerrit Cole (2.93)
6. Lucas Giolito (3.16)
7. Shane Bieber (3.31)
8. Matthew Boyd (3.44)
9. Mike Minor (3.58)
10. Wade Miley (4.07)
— George (@YankeeNerdStats) August 12, 2019
Boyd had his shortest outing of the year Thursday against the Kansas City Royals, who took him deep three times and tagged him for five runs and six hits in 2 2-3 innings. Detroit rallied to get him off the hook for a loss and won 10-8, but the left-hander is also suffering with the long ball and has served up 15 of his 26 homers on the season over his last nine starts.
The southpaw used his bullpen session Saturday as a video tool with the team’s analytics department to see if there are adjustments that can be made going forward starting with this contest.
“The only time it’s a teaching tool is if there’s something wrong, right? It’s more just data that we collect,” he told the club’s official website. “You put it in and you see the norm and the averages.”
Boyd’s best outing during his winless run came at Seattle on July 28 when he fanned 10 over 6 1-3 innings and limited the Mariners to one run and three hits of an eventual 3-2, 10-inning loss. He has kept Seattle in check in his three matchups since the start of last year, striking out 25 in 18 1-3 innings while going 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA.
The Tigers are in the final leg of an 11-game homestand and 3-5 thus far after settling for a split of their four-game series against Kansas City. Detroit has the worst home record in the majors at 16-41, and Boyd is 0-3 with a 4.85 ERA in his last seven starts at Comerica Park.
A loss would guarantee the Tigers their third consecutive non-winning season.
The Mariners are:
- 5-0 in their last five games vs. AL Central teams.
- 17-4 in their last 21 games vs. the Tigers.
- 36-16 in their last 52 games vs. sub-.400 teams.
The Tigers are:
- 0-5 in Boyd’s last five starts vs. AL West teams.
- 0-6 in their last six games following an off day.
- 6-21 in their last 27 during game 1 of series.