DETROIT — On a night when they struck out 18 times and went 12 straight innings without scoring a run, the Phillies benefited from a lot of good pitching from starter Aaron Nola and the bullpen to pull out a 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in 15 innings Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Scott Kingery led off the 15th with a triple off the right field wall and scored the go-ahead run on a base hit by Rhys Hoskins.
The Phils have scored just six runs in their last three games. They have managed to win two of those games on late hits by Hoskins.
Defense was huge in this win. Brad Miller, who entered the game late in left field, gunned down Nicholas Castellanos at the plate in the bottom of the 14th to keep the Phillies alive.
Nola pitched seven innings of two-run ball and the bullpen pitched eight shutout innings.
The Tigers have the second-worst record in the majors. They are 2-9 since the All-Star break. But they got a nice start from lefty Matthew Boyd and the bullpen put up a lot of zeroes against the Phillies’ mostly feeble offense.
The Phils were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position before Hoskins’ hit in the 15th.
The start of the game was delayed 38 minutes by rain and it ended at 12:17 a.m.
The Phils are 53-48.
Nola went seven innings and allowed just two runs, one of which was unearned after his own wild pitch.
He walked one but hit three batters. He struck out seven.
The Phillies got their first look at Detroit lefty Boyd. He is one of a handful of pitchers that the Phillies have trade interest in, though the Tigers’ price on him is extremely high.
Boyd pitched six innings, scattered five hits, struck out eight and left with the score tied, 2-2.
Boyd entered the game averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings. He threw 101 pitches and got an impressive 19 swings and misses — seven on his fastball and 12 on his slider.
Nick Pivetta pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief and struck out five. Pivetta was recently demoted to the bullpen. He showed a good fastball and an excellent curveball. With the Phillies looking to hold on to prospects, someone like Pivetta could be used in a trade.
Comerica Park is one of the biggest parks in baseball. It’s 420 feet to center and 345 feet down the left field line. The dimensions bit the Phillies in the top of the 12th inning when pinch-hitter Jean Segura and Kingery both hit balls to the wall. Both would have been homers in mostly every other park.
Quinn goes deep
With Segura out of the lineup and Kingery playing shortstop, manager Gabe Kapler used Roman Quinn in center field. Quinn has had a tough year. He entered the game with just six hits in 55 at-bats (.109). However, Quinn came up with a big hit when he crushed a two-run homer to left against Boyd in the second inning. Batting from the right side, Quinn leaned on an 0-1 fastball and hit it 434 feet to give the Phils a 2-1 lead.
Clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Phillies had a horrible inning against Boyd in the sixth. With the help of two Detroit errors, the Phils put runners on second and third with no outs. Cesar Hernandez then popped up on the first pitch. The Tigers walked Maikel Franco intentionally and Boyd got Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn on infield pop outs as the Phils left the bases full. It was a nice threat and it went for naught. In the bottom of the inning, the Tigers tied the game on a pair of doubles against Nola.
Things could change, but at the moment, it doesn’t look like a big trade-deadline move is coming for the Phillies.
Reliever Tommy Hunter had surgery to repair an injured flexor tendon. He is out for the remainder of the season. He pitched in just five games this season. Hunter’s contract is up after this season.
Segura sat out with a bruised left heel.
Reliever David Robertson will throw to hitters for the second time in Florida on Wednesday. The Phillies are optimistic they could see Robertson in the next couple of weeks, if all continues to go well. He has been out since April with an elbow injury.
The quick, two-game series ends on Wednesday afternoon with Vince Velasquez (2-5, 4.87) pitching against Jordan Zimmermann (0-7, 7.51).
The Phils have an off day Thursday. They open a three-game series at home against division-leading Atlanta on Friday night. Kapler said Zach Eflin would start one of those games. Eflin complained of his body feeling heavy after his last start in Pittsburgh. Kapler was adamant Tuesday that Eflin was fine and completely healthy. “There’s no issue,” he said.
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