The Phillies generated little offense in a 3-1 interleague loss to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
The Phils had just four hits on the night and two of them came in the first inning. They got their third hit in the second inning and did not get another one until the ninth. The Phils have been held to five or fewer hits in seven of their last 13 games.
Vince Velasquez suffered his first loss of the season. He was done in by a high pitch count and a third inning where nothing went right for the Phils.
The loss left the Phillies at 16-13.
• Nothing went right for the Phillies in the top of the third inning. Nicholas Castellanos reached base on a one-out double that was actually a routine pop-up to shallow right field. However, the ball dropped in because second baseman Cesar Hernandez was playing in a pronounced shift to the left side of the diamond. Right fielder Bryce Harper was also shaded well toward center field. After the game, Harper said that the ball was difficult to find in the twilight sky.
Castellanos ended up scoring on a single by Miguel Cabrera. Left fielder Nick Williams' throw was up the first base line and catcher J.T. Realmuto threw behind Cabrera at first. First baseman Rhys Hoskins appeared to nab Cabrera with the tag — and replays proved him right. Manager Gabe Kapler tried to challenge the call but was not allowed to by the umpiring crew because the request for a challenge came after 30 seconds. That proved costly because the next hitter, Niko Goodrum, clouted a two-run homer.
A missed chance to challenge.
It's possible the Phils could have gotten out of that inning with just one run, one maybe none, scoring.
• Detroit rookie right-hander Spencer Turnbull likes pitching against the Phillies. He allowed just three hits and struck out seven in five innings of work against the Phils in his final spring training start. He gave up just one run in six innings in this one. He walked one, struck out five and got 15 swinging strikes, most of them on his fastball.
• Though trailing, Kapler used a number of his best relievers to keep the game close, but the offense never mounted a comeback.
The right-hander ran a high pitch count — he threw a predominance of fastballs and the Tigers fouled off many of them — and lasted just 3⅔ innings. He gave up six hits and three runs, all in that pivotal third inning. He walked three and struck out seven.
Sights and sounds
Bryce Harper went hitless with two strikeouts and dropped a ball in right field. He heard some boos as he walked back to the dugout after striking out in the eighth inning. Could Harper's first day off be coming Wednesday?
Something to think about
The Phillies have discussed the idea of using Nick Pivetta in the bullpen.
The two-game series ends Wednesday night. Aaron Nola (2-0, 5.68) pitches for the Phillies against lefty Daniel Norris (1-0, 3.93).