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Matt Boyd just misses a no-hitter as Tigers trounce White Sox

Two-out double in ninth inning ends bid for history

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This has been a trying season for the Detroit Tigers, but starter Matt Boyd provided a highlight on Sunday, coming within one out of a no-hitter in beating the Chicago White Sox, 12-0 in the finale of a four-game weekend series at Comerica Park.

Boyd struck out five in his masterpiece, the first career complete game for the third-year starter. Tim Anderson hit a double to deep right field with two outs in the ninth inning to end Boyd’s no-hit bid.

The left-hander allowed only one other batter to reach base, walking Rob Brantly with two outs in the third inning. Boyd retired 18 in a row before the double by Anderson.

Boyd’s 121 pitches on Sunday were a career high, surpassing the 116 pitches he threw in his last start, which was against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.

The last no-hitter by a Tigers pitcher was thrown by Justin Verlander, who pitched his second career no-hitter on May 7, 2011.

The win on Sunday was just the second in nine games for the Tigers, who have lost 87 games in 2017. Detroit lost 30 of their last 40 games before beating the White Sox.

Boyd has shared in those struggles, with his 5.75 ERA entering Sunday ranking 120th among the 126 major league pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched this season. The Tigers lost his last seven starts before Sunday’s shutout, with Boyd posting an 0-5 record with a 6.62 ERA during that span.

With his performance on Sunday, Boyd lowered his ERA on the season to 5.33.

Things got so bad that Boyd nearly lost his spot in the rotation in August.

“The truth is with Matt Boyd at this point, he’s going to have to learn how to pitch or there’s going to be a move made with him,” manager Brad Ausmus said on Aug. 23, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a performance-based game. If you don’t perform, the game is going to catch up to you.”

At least for one day, almost nobody was able to catch up to Boyd.