Detroit Tigers' Matthew Boyd concedes two homers in 2-1 loss to Toronto Blue Jays

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Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd returned to the Comerica Park mound for the first time since June 8, finally back from left arm discomfort that forced him out of his June 14 start in Kansas City and sent him to the injured list.

Facing the Toronto Blue Jays, Boyd flashed positives and negatives — five strikeouts and two home runs allowed — in the Tigers' 2-1 loss in Sunday's series finale at Comerica Park. The Tigers (62-69) dropped two of three games in Detroit, one weekend after taking two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Between the top and bottom of the fifth, there was a 25-minute rain delay.

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Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks back as Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera heads back to the dugout after grounding out during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Detroit.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks back as Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera heads back to the dugout after grounding out during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Detroit.

In Boyd's final rehab assignment start with Triple-A Toledo, the 30-year-old completed 4⅓ scoreless innings and tossed 56 pitches. Back in the big leagues, Boyd needed 71 pitches (44 strikes) to complete four innings but didn't return for the fifth.

Boyd began his outing with authority, striking out Blue Jays leadoff hitter Marcus Semien with a two-seam fastball. Two pitches later, Bo Bichette — one of Toronto's many young talents — put the veteran Boyd behind with one swing.

Bichette drilled Boyd's two-seamer 401 feet over the wall in right-center field. His opposite-field blast gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The pressure continued in the first inning, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled and Alejandro Kirk drew a two-out walk.

Further damage was eluded when Boyd struck out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. with a full-count changeup.

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Detroit Tigers' Matthew Boyd pitches in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park, August 29, 2021.
Detroit Tigers' Matthew Boyd pitches in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park, August 29, 2021.

The Blue Jays jumped ahead 2-0 in the fourth inning, thanks to Kevin Smith's first MLB home run. He drove a sinker to left-center with two outs. Boyd struck out Reese McGuire on three pitches to finish his outing.

To help produce five strikeouts, Boyd logged 11 swings and misses with one sinker, five changeups, two sliders and three four-seam fastballs.

Better than Boyd

Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios — acquired from the Minnesota Twins for a pair of prospects at the trade deadline — kept the Tigers from scoring until he reached two outs in the sixth inning. The 27-year-old tossed seven innings of one-run ball (unearned) on six hits, striking out 11 without a walk.

The Tigers found scoring opportunities in the fourth and fifth innings, but Berrios executed pitches in crucial situations and wiggled out of jams in both frames. It wasn't until the sixth that the Tigers plated a run.

In the fourth, Bichette's throwing error sent the ball above a leaping Guerrero Jr. at first base. His mistake allowed Miguel Cabrera to reach safely with two outs. The next batter, Jeimer Candelario, slapped a single into right field.

With two on and two outs, Harold Castro flied out to left field.

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The Tigers had two outs in the fifth inning when Victor Reyes doubled to right-center field. Before Reyes entered into scoring position, Willi Castro (sinker, looking) and Dustin Garneau (curveball, swinging) struck out. Matched up with left-handed hitter Akil Baddoo, Berrios froze him with an inside sinker for the third out.

Reyes finished 2-for-3 against Berrios with a single, double and strikeout.

The best chance to score came in the sixth inning, when Jonathan Schoop reached on a fielding error by Smith at third base. Robbie Grossman followed with a 105-foot double that was deflected by Guerrero at first base.

The Tigers had two runners in scoring position for Cabrera, who clanked a weak bouncer back to Berrios. The pitcher turned and threw to his second baseman, and Grossman was tagged out retreating to the bag. Jeimer Candelario struck out for the second out.

The Comerica Park grounds crew roll out the tarp during the fifth inning of a baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Detroit.
The Comerica Park grounds crew roll out the tarp during the fifth inning of a baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Detroit.

Harold Castro, though, didn't waste his third clash with Berrios, especially not after the first two ended in hard-hit outs to left field. He tagged a changeup through the hole and into right field, scoring Schoop to trim the Blue Jays' lead to 2-1.

Berrios pitched a scoreless seventh to complete his outing. Of his 97 pitches, 74 went for strikes.

Stranding bases loaded

Righty reliever Jose Cisnero loaded the bases in the seventh: Semien (single), Bichette (single) and Guerrero (walk). Still searching for an out, pitching coach Chris Fetter trotted to the mound to talk with Cisnero before Teoscar Hernandez stepped to the plate.

Hernandez flied out to right, shallow enough to keep Semien from scoring.

Alejandro Kirk then grounded into a double play — from second baseman Willi Castro to shortstop Harold Castro to first baseman Jonathan Schoop — to end the seventh inning. All three players made spectacular plays, including a sharp pick from Schoop.

NOTES: Rookie outfielder Daz Cameron sent to Triple-A Toledo to 'get his swing going'

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers' Matthew Boyd allows 2 HRs in 2-1 loss to Blue Jays