Philadelphia Phillies (25-20) at Detroit Tigers (22-22)
Tuesday, May 24 - 7:10 PM EST
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
It was only a matter of time until the Detroit Tigers offense would get hot and start outscoring other teams, and they are in a scorching stretch at the moment. The Tigers will try to pound their way to a fourth straight win and pull above .500 when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday.
Detroit averaged 2.9 runs while dropping 11 of 12 earlier this month but is turning things around with an average of 6.6 runs and wins in seven of the last eight contests. The Tigers took the home-run route to Monday’s 5-4 victory as Miguel Cabrera delivered a pair of blasts and J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos each went deep before Victor Martinez’s RBI single provided the winning run. The Phillies have dropped three of four and five of the last eight due in part to a lack of offense. Philadelphia scored more than four runs only once in the last eight games – a 5-0 win over Atlanta on Sunday – and its 146 runs on the season ranks 29th in the majors ahead of only the Braves.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 3.99 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Justin Verlander (3-4, 4.58)
Hellickson is looking for his third straight win after holding Cincinnati and Miami to a combined two earned runs and nine hits over 13 innings in his last two turns. The 29-year-old added 13 strikeouts in those 13 frames and has 50 against 13 walks in 49 2/3 innings this season. Hellickson began his career in the American League with the Tampa Bay Rays and is 2-3 with a 1.86 ERA in five career starts against the Tigers.
Verlander has been at the top of his game in three straight starts but has only one win to show for his efforts. The former AL MVP allowed a total of four runs in 22 1/3 innings while striking out 27 in those three outings and finally got enough run support on Wednesday to come away with a win over Minnesota. Verlander won his lone previous start against the Phillies and is 25-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 36 career interleague starts.
1. Cabrera is 13-for-21 with five home runs, a double and a triple in the last six games.
2. Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts in his last five contests.
3. Detroit CF Cameron Maybin (wrist) is 14-for-24 in seven games since coming off the disabled list.
PREDICTION: Tigers 6, Phillies 2