WASHINGTON (AP) Akil Baddoo hit one of Detroit's four homers and drove in four runs, Matthew Boyd pitched effectively into the sixth inning, and the Tigers held on to beat the Washington Nationals 8-6 on Friday night.
Zack McKinstry's solo shot and Baddoo's three-run homer helped the Tigers to a 6-0 lead after three innings against rookie Jake Irvin. Detroit has won 10 of its last 15.
“We did what we usually do, stay aggressive, and stayed aggressive in the zone today and we did well,” McKinstry said. “We made some solid contact. Got a curveball up and away and just kind of re-gathered myself and hit it the other way. Super excited to see it go over the fence.”
Washington rallied for six runs late, thanks to a pair of two-run shots from Lane Thomas and Keibert Ruiz. The Nationals have lost four in a row and five of six.
Matt Vierling and Riley Greene also went deep for Detroit, which has 35 homers this season. Only Cleveland (24) had fewer homers in the American League at the start of play Friday. This was the Tigers' first game with more than two homers.
Backed by a pair of double plays, the 32-year-old Boyd (3-3) did not allow a hit through five innings.
“Let the fastball play good, play up," Boyd said. “I was able to throw the off-speed for strikes where I wanted to, the right way. It turned out real well.”
That changed in the sixth, when Ruiz led off with a scorching double to right-center. CJ Abrams doubled him home, and Thomas' sixth homer of the season made it 8-3. Boyd was pulled with two outs in the inning.
“I think he was little more east-west as that inning went on," Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “He tried to create some shapes. Got a little bit tentative with his pitches. Trying to make perfect pitches and falling into some bad counts and making some mistakes. He will be disappointed because of the way it ended and he’s a perfectionist. But he gave us a chance to win.”
Ruiz's homer off Mason Englert made it 8-6 in the seventh. Alex Call doubled, and reliever Chasen Shreve came on to strike out Luis García, ending the threat. Alex Lange recorded the final four outs for his eighth save.
“Lange is awesome," Tigers catcher Eric Haase said. "Any situation that we put him in you have to beat him, he’s going to have his best stuff. Keeping him in the zone has been the whole difference this year. His stuff is disgusting and he’s attacking the zone and making guys beat him.”
Irvin (1-2) allowed six runs, four earned, in 2 2/3 innings. He also committed a fielding error, walking four in the Tigers' three-run first. The 26-year-old right-hander has allowed 12 runs in his last two outings after surrendering only one run in his first two major league starts.
“It’s up to me to make good pitches, and I didn’t,” Irvin said. “Simple as that.”
The Nationals reinstated Joey Meneses from the paternity list and optioned infielder Jake Alu to Triple-A Rochester.
Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (left elbow strain) is traveling so he can work out with the team, but there is no timetable for his return.
Nationals: RHP Victor Arano (right shoulder strain, 60-day injured list) will get an MRI after he felt soreness following his most recent bullpen. ... C Israel Pineda (right finger fracture) injured his shoulder when he got hit with a foul tip. ... LHP Sean Doolittle (partial UCL tear in left elbow) will throw an inning Saturday. ... CF Victor Robles (back spasms) is progressing slowly.
Tigers RHP Alex Faedo (0-1, 4.22 ERA) faces Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (2-5, 4.65) as the series continues on Saturday. With this start, Corbin will have faced every MLB club.
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