DETROIT - Alex Avila, still hitting less than .200 for Detroit, stroked a two-run double with one out in the fifth inning Friday night to give the star-depleted Tigers a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies behind the combined four-hit pitching of Doug Fister and Joaquin Benoit.
Avila, hitting ,185 at game time, was down 0-2 in the count when he torched a hanging off-speed pitch by Cole Hamels (4-13) for his double to deep left center to erase a 1-0 deficit.
Hamels gave up only six hits in seven innings of work.
Fister (9-5) gave up an unearned run in the third when he allowed two of his three hits. He struck out six and walked one.
Benoit observed his 36th birthday by getting his 10th save in as many chances.
Detroit played without defending American League MVP Miguel Cabrera for the fourth game in a row and was also minus All-Star right fielder Torii Hunter, who has a sore left Achilles tendon. Second baseman Omar Infante, out since early July, is expected to miss another week with a bad left ankle.
The Phillies are minus left fielder Domonic Brown, first baseman Ryan Howard and center fielder Ben Revere. Lefty Cliff Lee was scratched from his Saturday start with a sore neck.
The Tigers scored their only two runs in the fifth.
Rookie Hernan Perez walked with one out and was doubled to third by Ramon Santiago. Avila then put Detroit ahead with his two-run double.
Philadelphia scored an unearned run in the third, taking advantage of an error by second baseman Perez, who booted a grounder by John Mayberry Jr. that may have been deflected by Fister.
Carlos Ruiz singled with one out and Michael Young brought Mayberry in with a ground single to left.
NOTES: Although Cabrera sat out Friday, he did take batting practice. It was notable, though, that Cabrera was hitting almost exclusively to right field because turning on a ball would have aggravated his bad left hip flexor. ... Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel entered Friday four victories shy of becoming the 59th manager in Major League history to work 1,000 winning games. ... Hunter was scratched from the starting lineup due to a sore left Achilles that forced him out of the game late Thursday. ... LHP Raul Valdes will replace Lee as the Phillies starting pitcher Saturday. ... Infante suffered a setback Thursday when he had to come out of a rehab game at low Class A West Michigan in the fourth inning due to left ankle pain.