Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Phillies pursue sweep of slumping Tigers

Field Level Media
07 Jun 2023, 16:40 GMT+10

Kyle Schwarber has said repeatedly there is no reason why he gets hot in June.

It just seems to happen every season.

Schwarber hit a leadoff homer in the first inning that was the difference in the Philadelphia Phillies' 1-0 victory over the visiting Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. He next will look to lead the Phillies to a fifth consecutive win as they attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Tigers on Wednesday.

Schwarber now has three home runs in six games this month and 31 homers in 60 June games dating to the 2021 season. Last season, he hit 12 home runs in 27 June games.

"I'm feeling better every single day," Schwarber said in a postgame interview on NBC Sports Philadelphia. "I'm doing all I can to keep up with the work in the cage. That sets me up to compete."

Despite the power surge that has increased his season homer total to 16, Schwarber is batting .173 on the season. He is 6-for-24 (.250) this month.

The Phillies managed just one run on three hits on Tuesday, but the victory diminished concerns about their bats.

"Our offensive approach was really good by everyone," Schwarber said. "We hit a lot of balls hard."

Philadelphia's Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Trea Turner hit long fly balls that appeared to be knocked down by the wind at the warning track.

"I thought our at-bats were a lot better than what our line was," manager Rob Thomson said.

The Phillies will hand the ball to Zack Wheeler (4-4, 4.33 ERA) on Wednesday.

Wheeler struggled mightily in his latest start, giving up eight hits and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in an 8-7 loss to the Washington Nationals last Friday.

"This one's on me really," Wheeler said after the outing. "Guys battled back. Just couldn't finish it out. We know what we have in this room and what we've got to do."

Wheeler has started once in his career against the Tigers, and he earned a win with 7 1/3 innings of three-run ball on May 26, 2019.

The Tigers will look to avoid taking consecutive three-game sweeps.

After scoring a total of three runs while dropping three straight against the Chicago White Sox, the Tigers have now lost two in a row and produced only three total runs against the Phillies.

On Tuesday, Detroit managed just three hits, including a double from Miguel Cabrera.

The Tigers went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.

"It is frustrating," Detroit infielder/outfielder Zack Short said. "That's exactly what it is. (Our staff is) pitching their (butts) off. ... It's nobody's fault but our own. We have to figure something out."

Short said that the approach has been the same as when the Tigers were winning games earlier this season. The offensive production has just been lacking.

"We haven't really put anything together in the last few days," Short said.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch added, "We continue to encourage these guys. We've got to find ways to score runs."

Detroit right-hander Reese Olson (0-1, 3.60) will make his second career start on Wednesday after losing his major league debut to the White Sox on Friday. He allowed two runs on two hits and a walk with six strikeouts in five-plus innings of the 3-0 loss.

"He was calm. He was in control. He was nasty," Hinch said of Olson.

Olson added, "I think I did pretty well, just maybe got a little tired in the sixth inning, didn't execute two two-strike pitches. Other than that, everything was working for me."

--Field Level Media

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