LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 16-3, on Tuesday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
The Tigers improved to 6-6 in Grapefruit League play.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd pitched three innings and set the tone for the pitching staff with zero walks and seven strikeouts. The 32-year-old has a 3.60 ERA with one walk and 11 strikeouts across five innings in spring training.
He executed all his pitches.
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As the pitchers posted zeros on the scoreboard, the Tigers offense came alive with one run in the first inning, three runs in the second and six runs in the fifth for a 10-1 lead entering the sixth.
In the first, Nick Maton and Riley Greene — batting in the Nos. 2-3 spots in the lineup — teamed up to produce the first run of the game against right-hander Gordon Graceffo. Greene, who continues to hit the ball hard, delivered a 108.1 mph exit velocity and drove in Maton with an opposite-field double off the left-field wall.
The Tigers took a 4-1 lead with a three-run second inning, sparked by a two-out walk from Andrew Knapp. Ryan Kreidler and César Hernández followed with back-to-back RBI doubles, then Maton chipped in an RBI single.
Maton finished 3-for-3 with two singles and one double.
Boyd looked sharp but allowed one run.
Nolan Gorman hammered Boyd’s slider — a pitch that caught too much of the heart of the plate — for a solo home run with two outs in the second inning. Other than that, Boyd was perfect in his second spring training start.
His seven strikeouts: Brendan Donovan (79.7 mph slider), Paul DeJong (79.9 mph slider), Juan Yepez (81 mph changeup), Dylan Carlson (94.3 mph fastball), Andrew Knizner (80.1 mph slider), Taylor Motter (93.1 mph fastball ) and Moises Gomez (78.1 mph slider).
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Boyd, who pitched just 13⅓ innings last season after recovering from flexor tendon surgery, generated nine whiffs with three fastballs, three changeups and three sliders.
His fastball averaged 92.9 mph.
At the plate
The Tigers continued their offensive surge in the fifth inning, thanks to a leadoff double from Spencer Torkelson. It was Torkelson’s second hit of spring training. Kerry Carpenter singled to right field to put runners on the corners.
Two batters later, Knapp doubled to make it a 6-1 lead.
Kreidler walked and Izaac Pacheco singled to load the bases for Jermaine Palacios, who was hit by a pitch to force in a run. The Cardinals turned to left-hander Andrew Suárez, and with two outs, Brendon Davis cleared the bases by hitting a first-pitch fastball for a double, increasing the Tigers’ lead to 10-1.
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Reserve players called up from minor-league camp helped the Tigers add two more runs to the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Austin Murr opened the inning with a leadoff walk, and Danny Serretti kept the inning alive with a two-out single.
Pacheco struck a 94 mph fastball from lefty Packy Naughton into center field for an RBI single. A throwing error by Cardinals third baseman Kramer Robertson gifted the Tigers their 12th run.
A two-run home run from Andre Lipcius put the Tigers ahead 14-2 in the seventh inning.
Lipcius has three homers in eight games this spring. He hit .302 with three homers a .388 on-base percentage in 46 games for Triple-A Toledo last season and could be a dark horse to make the Tigers’ Opening Day roster.
Pacheco, one of the most underrated hitting prospects, finished 2-for-2 with a walk. After his walk in the eighth, the 20-year-old scored on Mario Feliciano’s line-drive RBI single in the eighth inning. Two batters later, Lipcius increased the Tigers’ advantage to 16-2 with an RBI single.
On the mound
After Boyd’s masterpiece, the Tigers went to right-hander Trey Wingenter for the fourth inning. He threw nine of 15 pitches for strikes, struck out Carlson on three straight fastballs (including a 97.5 mph heater) and wasn’t fazed by a one-out single from top prospect Jordan Walker.
His fastball averaged 96.3 mph.
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Right-hander Garrett Hill tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts to get the Tigers through the fifth and sixth innings. He threw 28 of 38 pitches for strikes and worked around leadoff singles in each inning.
The Cardinals finally scored again in the seventh, facing right-hander Edwin Uceta. Carlson didn’t miss a poorly located changeup and sent the ball to right-center field for a solo home run. Uceta walked two batters in the seventh but avoided further damage.
Right-hander Brenan Hanifee completed a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts. He also pitched the ninth, giving up the Cardinals’ final run on back-to-back doubles to open the frame before getting back-to-back lineouts to right and a strikeout.
1. Boyd; 2. Maton; 3. Button.
Wednesday (1:05 pm) vs. Washington Nationals in Lakeland (Bally Sports Detroit).
Contact Evan Petzold at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers trounce Cardinals, 16-3, behind Matthew Boyd’s arm