Update (3:53 PM ET): The no-hitter is over. Boyd induced a pop up from Adam Engel for the first out and retired pinch-hitter Kevan Smith with a groundout, but couldn’t close the door against Tim Anderson, who lashed a double into right field to break up the no-hitter. The Tigers still won, 12-0, after Jeimer Candelario’s monster three-run shot in the eighth.
Tigers’ left-hander Matthew Boyd has no-hit the White Sox through six innings. The lefty carried a perfect game through 2 2/3 innings, but slipped on a five-pitch walk to catcher Rob Brantly to end his bid.
While the White Sox collected zeroes on their half of the scoreboard, the Tigers’ offense kept up a steady stream of runs. Jeimer Candelario put Detroit on the board with an RBI single in the first inning, followed by a run scoring wild pitch in the second, Nicholas Castellanos‘ two-RBI double in the third, JaCoby Jones‘ double in the fourth, Mikie Mahtook‘s two-run homer in the fifth, and another long ball from Castellanos in the bottom of the sixth.
The Tigers chased opposing starter Dylan Covey off the mound by the fourth inning and dealt roughly with reliever Chris Beck, who allowed four runs on four hits for an unsightly 6.67 ERA.
Should Boyd pull off the no-hit attempt, he’ll be the first Tigers’ pitcher to do so since Justin Verlander‘s no-hitter against the Blue Jays in 2011. The White Sox, meanwhile, haven’t been on the receiving end of a no-no since they were no-hit by the Twins’ Francisco Liriano just four days prior to Verlander’s feat.
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.
Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.
Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.
Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.