DETROIT -- Justin Verlander worked over the Phillies for eight scoreless innings, and Miguel Cabrera doubled in one run and grounded in another -- continuing his offensive awakening in May -- as Detroit captured its eighth win in nine games with a 3-1 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night
DETROIT -- Justin Verlander worked over the Phillies for eight scoreless innings, and Miguel Cabrera doubled in one run and grounded in another -- continuing his offensive awakening in May -- as Detroit captured its eighth win in nine games with a 3-1 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night at Comerica Park. The victory moved Detroit (23-22) over .500 for the first time since May 5.
Cabrera's first-inning double to the fence in left-center field scored Cameron Maybin, who took over the leadoff spot with Ian Kinsler out of the lineup, for a 1-0 lead. Cabrera padded the lead with runners on second and third in the sixth, scoring Maybin on a groundout to third before Victor Martinez singled home J.D. Martinez.
That was plenty for Verlander, who didn't allow a runner in scoring position after the opening inning. His 10 strikeouts marked his second consecutive game in double digits, his first such streak since 2013.
"Pretty much the same as what we've seen the last four starts," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "His fastball's really working for him. He's getting swings and misses on it. He's mixing in his other stuff. His slider was really good, a hard slider tonight, borderline cutter at times. But he was outstanding."
Francisco Rodriguez allowed a run in the ninth but closed out the win for his 400th career save.
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Cabrera capitalizes again: Cabrera didn't wait long to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. His drive to left-center went to the wrong part of the park for a home run, but the double to the depths of Comerica Park was enough to easily score Maybin from first base for a 1-0 lead in the opening inning.
Verlander gears up early: Normally, Verlander will take it easy on his fastball velocity in the early innings and build for later. Freddy Galvis' one-out double in the first, however, changed his plans. Verlander cranked up to 95 mph to strike out Maikel Franco, throwing him all fastballs, before getting Tommy Joseph to line out to short to end the threat.
"I'm feeling good. Ball's coming out good. I definitely didn't feel like I was overdoing it in that spot, or letting it all hang out," Verlander said. "It just kind of, as the season's progressed and as the weather's warmed up, started to feel better and better. Ball's just coming out better."
Hellickson settles in after first-inning double: After giving up the Cabrera double, Jeremy Hellickson faced one over the minimum number of batters from that point through the end of the fifth inning. He had six strikeouts during that stretch. The Tigers jumped on him for two runs in the sixth.
Bad bounce sets up add-on runs: J.D. Martinez's sixth-inning chopper down the third-base line seemed like an easy out until the hop ate up Franco at third and sent the ball down the left-field line. The double put runners on second and third with nobody out for Cabrera and Victor Martinez, who drove in the runs to give Verlander an insurmountable lead.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he thought it was a difficult play for Franco, but it could have been a potential double-play ball, or at least keep a runner out of scoring position.
"He got to a certain spot, and he stopped," Mackanin said. "He tried to snag it instead of taking one more step toward it. I don't think he could have gotten in front of it, but he could have gone through the ball instead of stopping and trying to snag it."
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Cabrera's swinging strike on Hellickson's first-pitch slider in the third was his first swing and miss since last Wednesday. He had swung 34 times since then with either a ball in play, a foul ball or, in one case, a foul tip. Hellickson later finished off Cabrera for the reigning American League batting champion's first strikeout since May 13.
Phillies:Aaron Nola starts the series finale on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Nola allowed a home run for the first time in more than a month his last start against Atlanta -- a pair of them, actually. Despite that, he still lasted seven innings for the seventh time in nine starts.
Tigers:Anibal Sanchez looks for his first win since April 28 in the finale of the three-game series at 1:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The veteran right-hander has put up solid outings early, but has struggled with a .341 batting average the third time through a lineup.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Phillies on Tuesday.