DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Boyd allowed one hit in six outstanding innings, and James McCann homered in the fifth to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Boyd (1-1) took a no-hitter into the sixth before Robbie Grossman broke it up by lining a clean single to left field with two out. The Detroit left-hander struck out six and walked two before turning the game over to the bullpen. Tigers relievers have struggled so far this season, but they were able to close this game out.
Francisco Rodriguez allowed a run in the ninth but recovered for his third save in four chances. Pinch hitter Max Kepler hit a popup with two on to end it.
Hector Santiago (1-1) allowed only three hits in 6 1/3 innings, but one of them was a two-run shot by McCann.
Boyd recovered nicely after giving up five runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first start of the season against the Chicago White Sox last week. The Tigers picked him over the more experienced Anibal Sanchez for a spot in the rotation, and they’ll hope this start was more indicative of what he’ll provide going forward.
Detroit pulled even with the Twins atop the AL Central and has won four of five.
McCann, who hit 12 home runs last season, has provided some power for the Tigers in the early going with Miguel Cabrera struggling. His one-out drive to left in the fifth gave Detroit a 2-0 lead. It was his third homer of the year.
Jason Castro hit an RBI single with one out in the ninth for Minnesota, but right fielder Mikie Mahtook made a nice play to cut the ball off in the gap and prevent him from going to second. Pinch hitter Joe Mauer followed with a bloop single to left, but Rodriguez retired Eddie Rosario on a flyout before Kepler’s popout.
Twins: Closer Brandon Kintzler had a cracked nail during Sunday’s win over the Chicago White Sox. The team was off Monday, and he did not pitch Tuesday with Minnesota trailing. He was warming up in the bullpen while the Twins batted in the ninth.
Tigers: Manager Brad Ausmus said OF J.D. Martinez (sprained right foot) swung in the batting cage Monday.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson takes the mound Wednesday against Detroit. He had a no-decision in his first start of the season, Thursday against Kansas City.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer starts for Detroit. He threw six scoreless innings Friday against Boston but did not factor into the decision.