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1B Darin Ruf hit his first homer of the year Wednesday, a solo shot off Washington's Gio Gonzalez in the seventh inning. It was Ruf's fourth homer in 46 major league at-bats. He ripped three in 33 trips as a rookie last year.
1B Ryan Howard underwent surgery on his left knee Wednesday morning, described by the team as a debridement of his medial meniscus. General manager Ruben Amaro told reporters he was very encouraged, and that the knee was not as badly damaged as first feared. As was previously announced, Howard will miss six to eight weeks. He is hitting .266 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs.
3B Michael Young went 1-for-4 with a second-inning double Wednesday and now has 14 extra-base hits in his last 27 games. He managed 11 in his first 58. He is hitting .289 with six homers and 26 RBIs to date.
LHP Cliff Lee saw an eight-game winning streak come to an end with Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Washington. Lee allowed four homers, equaling his career high, and suffered his first loss in six decisions to a National League East opponent this season. He threw 76 pitches, 64 for strikes, but disagreed with the notion that he was leaving too many offerings in the heart of the plate. Nor did he feel any of the gopher balls were bad pitches, even though two of them came on 0-2 deliveries.
RHP Kyle Kendrick, Thursday's starter, has one victory over his last five starts, and in his last outing, July 6 against Atlanta, he was hit hard in a 13-4 loss. Kendrick lasted five innings and allowed six runs and 12 hits. He struck out two, walked two and surrendered two home runs. Kendrick has a loss and a no-decision in two previous starts against Washington this year, and in his career is 4-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 21 games against the Nationals, 19 of them starts.
CF Ben Revere went 1-for-4 Wednesday and has hit safely in eight straight, and 12 of his last 13. He is hitting .436 over that 13-game span, and since May 1 is batting at a .344 clip. He has raised his average from .200 to .302 over that stretch.