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.
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.
|July 26, 2013||Cliff Lee||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|July 24, 2013||Domonic Brown||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 24, 2013||Domonic Brown||Day-to-Day||Concussion|
|July 14, 2013||Joe Savery||15-Day DL||Left elbow stiffness|
|July 14, 2013||Ben Revere||15-Day DL||Broken right foot - out 6-8 weeks|
|July 13, 2013||Ben Revere||Day-to-Day||Broken right foot|
|July 25, 2013||Torii Hunter||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left Achilles|
|July 23, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 14, 2013||Justin Verlander||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right quadriceps tightness|
|July 07, 2013||Darin Downs||15-Day DL||Left rotator cuff tendinitis|
|July 04, 2013||Omar Infante||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|July 03, 2013||Omar Infante||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shin|
DETROIT (AP) -- By the time Jhonny Peralta broke the game open with a sixth-inning grand slam, the Detroit Tigers were already well on their way to another victory.
For that, they could thank the Philadelphia Phillies , whose eighth straight loss might have been the ugliest of the bunch.
Peralta's slam capped an eight-run sixth for Detroit, and the Tigers overcame Miguel Cabrera 's ejection in a 12-4 win over the collapsing Phillies on Sunday.
Cabrera was tossed while batting with the bases loaded in the third and manager Jim Leyland was ejected, too.
Detroit still got plenty of additional chances against a Philadelphia team that all but handed the game away with errors and walks.
"We got some benefits today," Leyland said. "They struggled a little bit defensively, and a little bit throwing strikes."
In the sixth, the Tigers scored eight runs on only two hits. The Phillies made three errors and walked three batters in the inning.
Rick Porcello (8-6) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings to win his fourth straight start.
Reliever Jake Diekman (0-1) took the loss, but he was hardly the only culprit for Philadelphia.
The Phillies had already blown a 3-0 lead when Diekman came on to start the bottom of the sixth in a tie game.
He allowed a leadoff walk to Andy Dirks , then threw wildly to second for an error when Alex Avila bunted. Ramon Santiago 's bunt single loaded the bases, and after Austin Jackson 's flyout to shallow right field, Don Kelly 's flyball to left was dropped by rookie Steve Susdorf for another error.
Kelly was credited with a sacrifice fly, the Tigers took a 4-3 lead and the bases remained loaded.
Luis Garcia replaced Diekman, and Matt Tuiasosopo - who had come in earlier for Cabrera - drew a walk to force in a run. Prince Fielder followed with a grounder to first, but Darin Ruf 's throw home was off the mark for yet another error.
Victor Martinez 's bases-loaded walk made it 7-3, and Peralta followed with his 10th homer of the year and fourth career grand slam.
All eight runs in the inning were unearned.
The Tigers have won seven of eight, and they lead the AL Central by three games over Cleveland. Detroit outscored Philadelphia 24-5 in the three-game sweep.
"It's hard, man. It's tough," Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz said. "We're not playing good baseball right now. It's embarrassing to see that."
Cabrera's spot in the order came up three times with the bases loaded, but he was only around for one of them - and not for long. Down 1-0, the Tigers had the bases full with nobody out in the third. Kelly popped out on a 3-1 pitch, bringing Cabrera to the plate.
After two called strikes, the Triple Crown winner said something to plate umpire Chad Fairchild, although not in a demonstrative fashion. Cabrera was tossed, and Leyland was thrown out too when he came out for what ended up being a lengthy argument.
"I called strike one and he began to argue balls and strikes. I warned him to stop, but after the second pitch, he began to argue balls and strikes again, and was removed from the game," Fairchild said.
"Jim came out and asked for an explanation, which I gave to him. He then began to argue balls and strikes, and since he had left his position and argued balls and strikes, he was removed from the game."
Cabrera was charged with a strikeout when Philadelphia starter Jonathan Pettibone threw strike three to Tuiasosopo - since Tuiasosopo was facing a two-strike count when he replaced Cabrera.
"I said the call was horrible and he threw me out," Cabrera said. "I think it's not time to blame anybody - to blame the umpires, to blame somebody else. You want to compete and you want to do something special and try to win games. I'm kind of upset at how he threw me out, but that happens."
Fielder fouled out to end the inning.
Fielder came to the plate three times with the bases loaded, including during Detroit's three-run fifth. The Tigers started that inning with consecutive singles by Santiago, Jackson, Kelly and Tuiasosopo, scoring their first run on Tuiasosopo's hit. Fielder and Martinez followed with RBI groundouts to tie it at 3.
Pettibone allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings. He also walked four.
Detroit had at least two runners on base in seven of its eight innings at the plate. The Tigers finished the game 6 of 20 with runners in scoring position. They had 12 plate appearances with the bases loaded, the team's most since at least 1974, according to STATS.
Cabrera's spot came up with two on in the seventh. At that point, Hernan Perez was batting there, and he singled to drive in another run.
NOTES: Fairchild was also the plate umpire in Detroit's July 11 game against the Chicago White Sox, when Leyland and Detroit reliever Luke Putkonen were ejected. ... Susdorf's fifth-inning double was his first career hit. ... Both teams are off Monday. Detroit hosts Washington on Tuesday night, with RHP Anibal Sanchez (8-7) facing Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-8). The Phillies host San Francisco. Philadelphia LHP John Lannan (2-4) takes on Giants LHP Barry Zito (4-7).