By Sam Bush

Okay, it was only against the Detroit Tigers, arguably one of the worst teams in baseball.

And you can drop “arguably,” since they only have 30 wins and the dreadful Baltimore Orioles have 32!

But Vince Velasquez pitched like it was 2016 and the Phillies beat the Tigers 4-0 to finish a quick two-game sweep.

Bryce Harper sat out, but he wasn’t missed.

”This felt kind of like a double win, mainly because we were able to rest Harper,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. ”Also huge to get J.T. (Realmuto) off his feet.”

Realmuto played first base instead of catcher, and he homered in the fourth inning to open the scoring. Nick William also went deep as the Phils won five of six heading into a matchup with NL East-leading Atlanta.

They now trail the Braves by only 5 1/2 games — a week ago it was 8 1/2.

”This is definitely a big series coming up,” catcher Andrew Knapp said. ”We’re rolling. We’re pretty confident in the way we’re playing right now.”

The Phillies won the series opener at Detroit 3-2 in 15 innings in a game that ended early Wednesday, shortly after midnight. The teams returned to the field for an afternoon game, and Velasquez (3-5) outdueled Jordan Zimmermann.

Velasquez allowed four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine.

Zimmermann (0-8) allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Detroit is 8-35 since the start of June.

Realmuto opened the scoring in the fourth with a solo shot, his 12th homer of the season. Then they added three more runs the following inning.

Williams opened the fifth with a homer, and Cesar Hernandez added an RBI double. Rhys Hoskins hit a run-scoring single to make it 4-0, chasing Zimmermann.

Velasquez was in a jam in the second but struck out Gordon Beckham with the bases loaded to end the inning. He left in the sixth with two on and two out. Ranger Suarez, the first of three Philadelphia relievers, struck out Christin Stewart to end that threat.

”We never really got anything going offensively,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”Some of that is their pitching – you have to give their guy credit – but we weren’t doing anything. Maybe some of it was mental fatigue but we were chasing a lot of balls outside the zone.”

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