By Sam Bush
Zack Wheeler took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, Kody Clemens came through with a game-ending single and the Phillies rallied past the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on for their fifth victory in a row.
Brandon Marsh tied it in the ninth with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly for the defending NL champion Phillies (30-32).
“These guys never quit,” Wheeler said.
Nick Maton hit a go-ahead single in the top of the ninth after Tyler Nevin broke up Wheeler’s no-hit bid with one out in the eighth for the Tigers, who lost their sixth straight and eighth in the last nine.
Bryce Harper led off the bottom of the ninth with a double off Alex Lange (3-2), and Trea Turner walked. After J.T. Realmuto struck out, Bryson Stott loaded the bases with an infield single. Marsh tied it on a liner to deep left field before Clemens laced a 96 mph sinker into right to score Turner from second.
“It was amazing,” Clemens said. “Got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.”
Clemens’ dad, Roger, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, watched from the stands. Afterward, he tweeted: “Yes sir!” He added a flex and fire emoji.
“He was probably as locked into the game as much as I was,” Kody Clemens said.
The game originally was scheduled for Wednesday night but was postponed due to poor air quality caused by smoke from Canadian wildfires. The smoky smell that was present the previous two days in Philadelphia dissipated, and the sky became more clear as the game went on.
Wheeler retired Akil Baddoo on a grounder to begin the eighth. Jonathan Schoop then hit a chopper to third baseman Josh Harrison, and Clemens couldn’t hold onto Harrison’s one-hop throw to first that would’ve had Schoop. Harrison was charged with a throwing error.
“I have to make that play,” Clemens said.
Nevin then lined a sharp single to right field, moving pinch-runner Jake Marisnick to third and ending Wheeler’s night after 108 pitches. He struck out eight, walked one and hit a batter.
“Pace was good, pitches were working,” Wheeler said.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said he would’ve let Wheeler throw 120 pitches at most if the no-hitter was still intact.
“He was really good, really efficient,” Thomson said.
Detroit tied it 1-all on Zack Short’s bunt single that caromed high to reliever Seranthony Dominguez. It appeared Dominguez had enough time to get Marisnick racing home, but Dominguez pivoted toward first base. Clemens was charging toward the plate and Stott was late covering the bag from second as Marisnick scored and Short was safe.
Javier Báez led off the ninth with a single against Craig Kimbrel (4-1) and went to second when the closer made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Maton gave the Tigers the lead by driving a single into right field.
“Hurts all around,” Short said. “Just got to figure something out one way or another.”