Detroit, MI – Minus two of their more potent bats, the Detroit Tigers received production from the bottom of their lineup Friday night that proved just enough to extend the Phillies' woes.
Alex Avila, the No. 9 hitter, hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to back Doug Fister, as the Tigers handed Philadelphia's Cole Hamels his 13th loss of the season with a 2-1 victory in the opener of a three-game interleague set at Comerica Park.
Fister (9-5), who at one point retired 12 batters in a row, allowed an unearned run and three singles over eight innings for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who played without third baseman Miguel Cabrera (hip flexor) and outfielder Torii Hunter (sore Achilles).
"There were a couple of innings today (where I was) attacking the zone and within a couple of pitches they were hit right to guys," Fister said. "Lucky for me I have great defense behind me."
Joaquin Benoit pitched around a leadoff hit by Jimmy Rollins in the ninth to earn his 10th save. Rollins did move into scoring position, swiping second with one out and third with two gone, but Darin Ruf grounded out to second to end the game.
Hamels (4-13) had just the one hiccup, but the Phillies' offense continued to snooze. Philadelphia has scored only 10 runs during a season-high six-game losing streak.
Detroit got to Hamels after Hernan Perez, the No. 7 hitter, drew a one-out walk in the fifth. Ramon Santiago followed with a double down the left-field line and Avila found the gap in left-center field to put the Tigers in front.
Hamels said he figured runs would be at a premium.
"A couple of guys definitely knew it and understood the situation of the game," he said. "You have to be able to go out and win 1-0. It's something that I'll look back at and obviously be very frustrated."
Philadelphia had grabbed its first lead since last Saturday two innings earlier. John Mayberry led off the third by reaching on an error and came around to score after consecutive hits by Carlos Ruiz and Michael Young.
All-Star Cliff Lee won't make his scheduled start for the Phillies on Saturday because of a stiff neck. Raul Valdes gets the spot start ... Young extended his hitting streak at Comerica Park to 14 games ... This is the first meeting between the two clubs in Detroit since 2002, when the Phillies swept a three- game set.