The latest Philadelphia injury — Cliff Lee's stiff neck — put the Phillies in quite a bind against Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers.
Raul Valdes started in Lee's place Saturday night and allowed eight runs in the first two innings, and Detroit went on to a 10-0 victory over the Phillies.
Philadelphia has lost seven in a row. This one was a rout from the start.
"That wasn't much fun," Philadelphia's Chase Utley said. "They came out with hot bats and we came out facing one of the best pitchers in baseball."
That would be Max Scherzer (15-1), who held the Phillies to one hit in six innings before departing with his team well ahead.
Cabrera homered in his first at-bat after returning from a hip injury. Detroit scored five runs in the first and three in the second.
Cabrera's solo homer in the first was his 32nd of the year, and he later added two more RBIs to increase his season total to 99.
Matt Tuiasosopo added a three-run homer in the first.
The Tigers remain three games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
The Phillies, meanwhile, are now 10 back of NL East-leading Atlanta.
Detroit outhit Philadelphia 15-2.
Valdes had been used exclusively as a reliever this year, and his first start since June 27, 2012, did not go well. He actually retired his first two batters before Cabrera — back after missing four games because of a left hip problem — went deep to put Detroit ahead 1-0.
Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta followed with consecutive singles — Peralta's hit brought home another run — and Tuiasosopo hit his seventh homer of the year, to the bushes beyond the wall in center field.
"They got on Valdes pretty quick, and that first inning pretty much decided the game," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He hung in there and battled, and I hated to have to leave him out there, but he was all we had tonight."
Cabrera added an RBI single in the second, and Martinez's two-run single made it 8-0.
Cabrera came out of the game in the fifth, and he wasn't the only one who didn't stick around for the full nine innings. Fielder, Utley and Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins were among the players pulled early.
"We know we're not swinging the bats. We haven't given up. We haven't quit," Utley said. "We just aren't swinging the bats and we've got to find a way to get out of this slump."
The only baserunner Scherzer allowed was Darin Ruf, whose second-inning double was nearly caught by Austin Jackson in center. Scherzer struck out seven, and the Detroit All-Star again got plenty of run support. Detroit has backed Scherzer with an MLB-best average of 7.64 runs.
"That's why I love being in Detroit," Scherzer said. "If you go out and pitch well, you have a good chance to win the ballgame. Obviously, I was able to pitch effectively tonight, and obviously, these guys came out chomping at the bit."
Cabrera hit an RBI groundout in the fourth. Valdes was finally pulled after allowing nine runs and 12 hits in 3 2-3 innings. He struck out three.
"We've got a lot of guys who are worried about where they are going to be after the deadline," Manuel said. "This is a low point, but we can't give in."
NOTES: The game started after a 47-minute rain delay. ... The Phillies have scored six runs over their last six games. ... Tuiasosopo snapped an 0-for-10 skid with his homer. ... The Tigers go for a three-game sweep Sunday when RHP Rick Porcello (7-6) takes on Philadelphia RHP Jonathan Pettibone (5-4).