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Offseason | MLB Week 27

Phillies, Tigers ready to roll after unexpected night off

Thu Jun 8 2:43am ET
Field Level Media


The Detroit Tigers and host Philadelphia Phillies were given an unintended additional day to ponder their respective streaks after their scheduled Wednesday game was postponed due to heavy smoke and low visibility across the Northeast from wildfires in Canada.

Therefore, both clubs will see their initially scheduled off day on Thursday turn into a night of work when they conclude their three-game series.

"It's a situation where we have to let other people guide us," Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. "Major League Baseball and the experts feel it's now reached a point where it's unhealthy for people to be outside, so we go along with what they say."

The Phillies posted an 8-3 win over Detroit in the series opener on Monday and a 1-0 victory on Tuesday to extend their winning streak to four games. They won a season-best five in a row from May 7-13.

Kyle Schwarber belted a leadoff homer in the first inning on Tuesday for the game's only run.

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 will hand the ball to right-hander Zack Wheeler (4-4, 4.33 ERA) on Thursday.

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 on 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, 33, 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.

While Philadelphia is ascending, Detroit has lost five in a row -- one shy of its season-high skid. The Tigers lost six straight games from April 5-12.

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 left-hander Tyler Holton (0-0, 2.32 ERA) will make his first career start on Thursday after 27 relief appearances over two years.

Holton, 26, allowed two hits and struck out two in two scoreless innings on Tuesday during his lone career appearance vs. the Phillies.

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