PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Schwarber hit a leadoff homer, Taijuan Walker threw seven scoreless innings and the Philadelphia Phillies won their fourth straight, 1-0 over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Walker (5-3) allowed two hits, Seranthony Dominguez worked the eighth and Craig Kimbrel completed the three-hitter, striking out the side in order for his ninth save in as many chances. The defending NL champion Phillies pulled within three games of .500 (29-32).
Miguel Cabrera had the Tigers’ only extra-base hit, a one-out double in the fifth. Detroit has lost all five on a six-game trip that ends Wednesday night at Philadelphia.
Four Tigers pitchers held the Phillies to three hits, but the first one was all that mattered in a game that took 2 hours, 7 minutes.
Schwarber drove a 2-2 fastball from Tyler Alexander (1-1) to right-center in the first, his 16th homer this season and third this month. The slugger had 12 homers in 27 games last June and entered play on Tuesday ranked first among any player since at least 1900 with an average of one home run every 9.78 at-bats in June.
Walker struck out the side in the first and was sharp throughout in his best start since signing a four-year, $72 million free-agent deal with the Phillies last offseason. The 28-year-old right-hander struck out eight and walked three.
“The body just feels a lot better,” Walker said. “Just using more of my lower half.”
Walker worked out of trouble in the fifth. Zack Short singled for Detroit’s first hit, Cabrera followed with his double to right, and Jake Rogers walked to load the bases. Walker then struck out Jake Marisnick and got Zach McKinstry to fly out to center.
“He kept his poise and got the job done,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “He was outstanding.”
Alexander, a reliever making his first start of the season because of injuries in Detroit’s rotation, worked three innings. Jose Cisnero, Tyler Holton and Will Vest completed the three-hitter.
“Losing the game is bad because it’s a winnable game, but our pen did an incredible job,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said.
BP FOR BIRDS
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver A.J. Brown took batting practice and posed for photos with several Phillies.
Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and J.T. Realmuto all hit deep drives that likely would have been homers on many nights at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. But the balls fell short of the wall due to a strong wind blowing in from center field.
NEW MINORITY OWNER
Stanley C. Middleman is buying an ownership stake in the Phillies. John Middleton, the Phillies’ managing partner and CEO, announced the addition of Middleman as a limited partner on Tuesday. Middleman, a Philadelphia native and lifetime Phillies fan, owns a mortgage company based in South Jersey.
Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (left flexor tendon surgery) is scheduled to make his second rehab start at Single-A West Michigan on Friday.
Phillies: LHP José Alvarado (left elbow inflammation) allowed two runs on three hits in one inning in a rehab start with Double-A Reading.
RHP Zack Wheeler (4-4, 4.33) looks to rebound from an uncharacteristically poor start in his last outing as the Phillies go for a three-game sweep on Wednesday night. Wheeler allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings last Friday in an 8-7 loss at Washington. RHP Reese Olson (0-1, 3.60) takes the mound for the Tigers.