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Tigers trade away JD Martinez, still pound Royals 9-3 (Jul 18, 2017)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Nicholas Castellanos homered twice and drove in five runs, Detroit scored five times in the second inning and the Tigers cruised from there to a 9-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

After trading slugger J.D. Martinez to Arizona for a package of prospects before the game, the Tigers proved they didn’t need him in the lineup – at least for one night – to win their fourth straight game.

Castellanos also tripled to finish a double shy of the cycle. Victor Martinez drove in a pair of runs, and the Tigers, who began selling ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, still managed to give fill-in starter Matt Boyd (3-5) plenty of support in his return from the minors.

Boyd allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings, striking out three and walking one. It was his first big league win since April 16, a skid that included four losses and four no-decisions.

He outperformed Travis Wood (1-3), who allowed six runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Most of the damage against Wood came in the second, when the Tigers strung together four straight hits to start the inning. Victor Martinez’s two-run double started the scoring, and by the time Castellanos added a two-run triple, the Tigers had turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 advantage.

Castellanos added his 13th homer of the season with one out in the fifth inning.

Boyd had trouble of his own in the first, when he coughed up three runs on four singles and a hit batter. But the left-hander settled down to retire Kansas City in order in the second, then dodged what little trouble he faced before turning the game over to his bullpen.

It was the seventh loss in eight games for the Royals, going back to a three-game skid entering the All-Star break, and a particularly disheartening one given their three-run first inning.

They only managed three more singles the rest of the way.

JMART SAYS FAREWELL

Martinez said he wasn’t surprised he was traded, considering he is due to hit free agency after the season. But that still made it difficult to leave a club that gave him a chance when things went downhill in Houston. ”It doesn’t hit you until they tell you,” Martinez said. ”It’s definitely tough. I love this organization. I love the fans. I love everything in Detroit. That’s home for me.”

TIGERS’ TRADE RETURN

INF Dawel Lugo was the top prospect in the Tigers’ trade, and GM Al Avila said he will likely begin next season at Triple-A. The Tigers also got INF Sergio Alcantara and INF Jose King as they restocked their farm system with position players. ”What we got now, we’re very happy with,” Avila said.

ROSTER MOVES

The Tigers recalled OF Jim Adduci from Triple-A Toledo to take Martinez’s roster spot. They also optioned LHP Blaine Hardy to the Mud Hens to create room for Boyd on the roster.

UP NEXT

Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (5-7, 4.66 ERA) tries to snap a three-game skid as the four-game series continues Wednesday night. The Royals will send RHP Jason Hammel (4-8, 5.02) to the mound.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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