By Sam Bush
This is what happens when the Phillies’ starting pitcher — in this case Jeremy Hellickson (above) — pitches a fine game and then depends on the popgun offense to bring him home.
Justin Verlander worked over the Phillies for eight scoreless innings, and Miguel Cabrera doubled in one run and grounded in another as the Detroit Tigers captured their eighth win in nine games with a 3-1 win over the Phillies last night at Comerica Park. The victory moved Detroit (23-22) over .500 for the first time since May 5.
Cabrera’s first-inning double to the fence in left-center field scored Cameron Maybin, who took over the leadoff spot with Ian Kinsler out of the lineup, for a 1-0 lead. Cabrera padded the lead with runners on second and third in the sixth, scoring Maybin on a groundout to third before Victor Martinez singled home J.D. Martinez.
That was plenty for Verlander, who didn’t allow a runner in scoring position after the opening inning. His 10 strikeouts marked his second consecutive game in double digits, his first such streak since 2013.
“Pretty much the same as what we’ve seen the last four starts,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “His fastball’s really working for him. He’s getting swings and misses on it. He’s mixing in his other stuff. His slider was really good, a hard slider tonight, borderline cutter at times. But he was outstanding.”
Francisco Rodriguez allowed a run in the ninth but closed out the win for his 400th career save.