With two of their top sluggers back in the lineup, the Detroit Tigers enjoyed a big day at the plate on the way to another victory.
That's something the struggling Philadelphia Phillies haven't experienced in quite a while.
Almost fully healthy, the surging Tigers will try to finish off a three-game sweep and hand the Phillies their eighth straight loss Sunday at Comerica Park.
AL Central-leading Detroit (58-45) poured on eight runs in the first two innings off fill-in starter Raul Valdes in Saturday's 10-0 win. That was more than enough for starter Max Scherzer, who became baseball's first 15-game winner.
After missing four games because of an injured left hip, Miguel Cabrera wasted little time making a contribution in his return to the lineup. He hit his 32nd home run in his first at-bat and went 2 for 3 with three RBIs to help the Tigers win their sixth in seven games.
"I'm feeling OK, so I was thinking, try to go out there and try to go and play,' Cabrera said.
Torii Hunter also made an impact after sitting out Friday because of a sore left Achilles tendon, going 3 for 4 with double. He's 9 for 22 with three homers in his last five contests.
The Tigers, though, are expected to be without second baseman Omar Infante (ankle) for even longer after he suffered a setback in his rehab Saturday. Infante last played July 3.
With power hitters Ryan Howard (knee surgery) and Domonic Brown (concussion) on the shelf, Philadelphia (49-55) is batting .191 while plating only 10 runs during this losing streak. The Phillies, who haven't lost eight in a row since Sept. 18-24, 2011, had two hits Saturday.
"They came out with hot bats and we came out facing one of the best pitchers in baseball," second baseman Chase Utley said.
Laynce Nix and Michael Young have been the primary culprits, going a combined 3 for 38 during the skid.
They may have a tough time turning things around against Rick Porcello (7-6, 4.49 ERA).
Since losing three straight starts at the end of June, the right-hander has been sharp with a 1.35 ERA over a three-start winning streak. He did not allow a run for the second time in three outings Tuesday, giving up four hits over seven innings in a 6-2 win versus the White Sox.
Porcello also is 2-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his last four interleague starts at Comerica Park after holding Pittsburgh to three hits over eight shutout innings in a 1-0, 11-inning loss on May 28.
Porcello gets his first look at the Phillies, though Delmon Young (8 for 22), Ben Revere (7 for 19) and Michael Young (5 for 13) had success against him during their time in the AL. Delmon Young won the AL championship series MVP with the Tigers last season.
Philadelphia hopes to bookend a nine-game road trip with victories as it gives the ball to Jonathan Pettibone (5-4, 3.97).
Pettibone has pitched well of late, limiting the opposition to three runs or fewer in his last six starts. He's 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA while allowing only one home run over that span.
The right-hander yielded three runs over five innings Tuesday but received no runs of support in a 4-1 loss at St. Louis.
While he's 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in nine starts at Citizens Bank Park, Pettibone has gone 2-3 with a 5.62 ERA in eight road outings.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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