Phillies lose three out of four to woeful Astros

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So much for the Phillies’ big surge. The Philadelphia bullpen blew a 4-3 lead Sunday in a 7-6 loss to Astros, giving Houston a rare series win.

Antonio Bastardo took the loss in relief of Roy Halladay, though the blame more squarely rests on the broad shoulders of rookie Phillippe Aumont. The Astros scored four times in the seventh with a rally that started on a Michael Martinez error. Bastardo left with two on, one out and the 4-3 lead still intact. Aumont followed by giving up a walk, a two-run double and a two-run single to the only three hitters he faced, making it 7-4 Houston.

The Phillies came back with two runs on a Domonic Brown double in the top of the eighth, but it wasn’t enough.

Setup relief was the Phillies’ Achilles heel early this season, but it’s been much better in the second half, as the team has largely been successful in maintaining leads in front of Jonathan Papelbon. Today’s misstep was Aumont’s second in a row. He allowed just one run over 8 1/3 innings in his first nine appearances for the Phillies, but he’s given up four runs in the last two. He took the loss in Thursday’s series opener.

Back under .500 at 73-74, the Phillies again look like extreme long shots for the second wild card spot. While they’ll be “only” four games back of either the Cards or Dodgers at the end of the day, they’re going to have four teams ahead of them in the standings.

Tigers place Cron on IL due to left knee sprain

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DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers put first baseman C.J. Cron on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with a left knee sprain.

Cron exited Monday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning. He was hurt on a freak play in which a hard-hit ball by Danny Mendick bounced off him and was recovered by pitcher Daniel Norris, who retired Mendick with a diving tag.

Cron stayed on the ground in apparent pain during the play and afterward.

The Tigers added Cron this offseason to provide more power in what was an anemic lineup in 2019. He’s hitting .190 but has four home runs.

Detroit recalled infielder Willi Castro.