Topic: Philadelphia (47-37) has won four games in a row and six

Teams from opposite ends of Pennsylvania and heading in opposite directions face off this weekend when the Philadelphia Phillies visit the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.


“I think it’s a nice milestone and one that we can celebrate. We’ll use it as fuel and motivation Ben Powers Jersey ,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.

The Phillies have put themselves in solid contention in the National League East. The series opener Friday against Pittsburgh launches a four-city, 11-game road trip that leads into the All-Star break.

“We never really doubted ourselves,” said starter Aaron Nola, who picked up the win Wednesday in a 4-1 victory over Baltimore. “Other people thought we were in a rebuilding year this year. We got good additions to the team.

“We have veteran guys who have been on winning teams and won championships. They know what it takes to win, and I think we’re following them.”

The Pirates (40-46), meanwhile, sit at a season-low six games below .500 and are in danger of being caught by last-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. They are opening an 11-game homestand leading into the All-Star break.

Pittsburgh is coming off a 2-4 West Coast trip, the final three games of which it was swept in Los Angeles by a combined score of 31-8. The Dodgers had 10 homers among 41 hits in those games.

“I think we definitely could have played better, but we also ran into a really hot team too,” Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer told MLB.com. “In the whole grand scheme of things, we haven’t played very well and we’re six games under .500 right now. Things could be a lot worse.

“That’s one of the bright spots that you can look at. … We need to put four or five games in a row, and win four or five good games in a row, then see what happens after that.”

The Phillies qualify as another hot team. They also swept a four-game series against the Pirates in April.

“We’ve just got to keep working,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “The game shows you where you need to improve. It gives you immediate feedback. We got a lot of immediate feedback.”

Two Pittsburgh starters, Chad Kuhl and Joe Musgrove http://www.ravensauthorizedshops.com/au … all-jersey , were hurt during the road trip.

On Friday, Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams (6-6, 4.22 ERA) is scheduled to start against Philadelphia righty Nick Pivetta (5-7, 4.66).

Williams has lost two straight starts since a June 18 win when he pitched seven scoreless, one-hit innings in a 1-0 game against Milwaukee. That was his first victory in more than a month.

He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies, including a no-decision April 22 when he gave up two runs in six innings of an 11-inning Pirates loss.

Pivetta’s last outing wasn’t a start. He came in to pitch a scoreless 13th inning Sunday when the Phillies had to go deep into their pitching staff in a 4-3 win over Washington. It was his first relief appearance since 2015 when he was in Class A.

Pivetta has one no-decision in his career against Pittsburgh.

After a rotten finish to June, the Detroit Tigers have started July with a modest winning streak.

Jose Iglesias hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Tigers recovered from a blown save in the ninth to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Monday, Detroit’s second straight victory following a season-long 11-game losing streak.

Right-hander Joe Jimenez (4-1) got the win despite giving up the tying run in the ninth.

”It’s huge for us,” Jimenez said of the victory. ”A new month, a new us.”

With his team leading 2-1 after eight innings, Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire called on Jimenez because regular closer Shane Greene (shoulder) had been placed on the 10-day disabled list before the game. Jimenez loaded the bases with two outs and walked pinch-hitter Justin Smoak on a 3-2 pitch to force in the tying run.

”When you come in as a closer, you have to make them swing the bat,” Gardenhire said. ”In those situations, walks will kill you.”

Detroit answered immediately in the 10th. Niko Goodrum hit a one-out triple off Seunghwan Oh (4-3) and scored the winning run when Iglesias followed with a fly ball to right.

After Buck Farmer gave up a leadoff single in the 10th, Blaine Hardy finished for his first career save.

”That losing streak was a little bit tough on this clubhouse Trace McSorley Jersey ,” Hardy said. ”Now that we have two wins in a row, I think we’re back to where we need to be.”

Tigers right-hander Mike Fiers pitched a season-high eight innings, but didn’t figure in the decision and remains winless in five starts. An efficient Fiers threw just 89 pitches, including 67 strikes. The right-hander allowed one run and three hits. He walked one and struck out five.

”It was a great performance,” Gardenhire said.

Nick Castellanos scored two runs and Jeimer Candelario had three hits for the Tigers, who won the season series against the Blue Jays for the first time since 2013. Detroit took four of seven from Toronto this season.

Making his second career start, Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki struck out leadoff man Mikie Mahtook, then allowed four straight singles, including a run-scoring hit by Victor Martinez, who delivered his first RBI single since June 15.

Borucki recovered to retire the next 13 batters in order, a streak that ended when Maktook reached on an infield single to begin the sixth. Maktook was forced at second on Castellanos’ fielder’s choice and Candelario singled Castellanos to third before John Hicks delivered the tiebreaking grounder.

”He looked like he was in control, didn’t ever panic,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Borucki. ”Another impressive outing.”

Borucki allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.

”He’s filthy, to tell you the truth,” an admiring Gardenhire said. ”A nice looking arm. He really knows how to pitch.”

For a third straight day Ed Oliver Jersey , the roof at Rogers Centre remained closed because of high heat and humidity.

SIX FOR SIX

Tigers starting pitchers have worked at least six innings in six straight games, the team’s longest such streak since July 28 to Aug. 2, 2017.

MILESTONE HIT

Martinez’s single in the first was No. 2,100 for his career, the eighth-most by a Venezuelan-born player.

WHO’S ON THIRD?

Toronto’s Kendrys Morales started at first base but moved to third in the 10th, his first career appearance there. Toronto has used C Russell Martin at third base and shortstop this season but Martin was unavailable Monday because of a sore knee.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: Detroit put Greene and OF Leonys Martin (left hamstring) on the 10-day DL. The Tigers recalled Mahtook from Triple-A Toledo and activated LHP Daniel Stumpf off the DL. Martin was injured beating out a bunt single in Sunday’s 9-1 win, while Greene felt sore after throwing eight pitches in a scoreless ninth inning Sunday. … Following the game, Detroit optioned C Grayson Greiner to Triple-A and selected 1B Jim Aducci from Toledo. To make room on the roster, 1B Miguel Cabrera was transferred to the 60-day DL.

Blue Jays: Toronto recalled INF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from Triple-A Buffalo. He takes the place of utilityman Darnell Sweeney, who was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo following Sunday’s game.

UP NEXT

Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (3-7, 4.20) gets the start as Detroit begins a two-game interleague series in Chicago against the Cubs. RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-8, 4.21) starts for the Cubs.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.53) starts the opener of a two-game series against the New York Mets. RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.47) starts for the Mets.