Hellickson strong against 'dangerous' Tigers

Hellickson strong against 'dangerous' Tigers

DETROIT -- Jeremy Hellickson tied a season-long outing Tuesday night in Detroit, going seven innings while allowing three runs on seven hits in a  3-1 Phillies loss to the Tigers.

After allowing an RBI double by Miguel Cabrera in the first inning, Hellickson settled into a groove, facing one over the minimum number of batters from that point through the end of the fifth inning.

He struck out six batters during that span, not allowing another baserunner to reach scoring position until the sixth.

"I thought I was good tonight," Hellickson said. "I just made a mistake to Cabrera that first inning. I was able to settle in a little bit, I got some easy outs and kept the pitch count down."

Hellickson gave up two runs in the sixth, but recorded outs on the final five batters he faced. He left the game having thrown 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he thought Hellickson did a good job facing what he thinks is the most dangerous lineup in baseball.

Hellickson's seven strikeouts

"I won't say it's the best lineup thus far, but I would say the most dangerous," Mackanin said early on Tuesday. "Just look at the numbers, and it can be daunting."

Mackanin was happy with limiting the Tigers' offense to three runs.

"Last night and tonight, we were in both games, so I'm happy about that," he said. "Not happy about the outcome, but we played them tough, especially with their lineup."

Hellickson, who walked one batter on the night, thought the same as his manager.

"It's a good lineup, with power, speed, a lot of good averages," he said. "All you can do is try and make pitches, and keep the ball on the ground."

Hellickson responded to Cabrera's deep liner in the first inning by striking him out in the third inning, warranting a thumbs up and a helmet bounce from Cabrera. But the Tigers' slugger came back in the sixth with a chopper to third base that was mishandled by Maikel Franco.

"Like I said, I made that mistake in the first inning, leaving it right over the middle of the plate," Hellickson said, "and second and third, no outs with him up again, in a 1-0 game, just trying to keep [the baserunners] both out there, but that's tough with him at bat."

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.