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Philadelphia Phillies - PlayerWatch

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

1B Ryan Howard was out of the team's starting lineup Friday for the third consecutive game. Before the game, manager Ryne Sandberg continued to say that he wants to see 1B Darin Ruf get some work at the position, while giving the struggling Howard a break. After the game, Sandberg indicated Howard would start Saturday night. "We have a right-handed pitcher throwing (against us)," Sandberg said. "I'll make the lineup up. We'll go forward. But I want him -- with a little bit of rest and some tweaking of his mechanics like he's done the last couple of days -- to have a big game for us."

LHP Cliff Lee is scheduled to start Saturday night against the Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park. Lee struggled in his highly anticipated return from the disabled list on Monday, giving up 12 hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings of a loss to the Giants. "I would expect some improvement there," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Knowing Cliff, a guy that knows about making adjustments from one outing to the next." It was Lee's first start since May 18 and he'll be one of the biggest starting pitchers targeted at the trade deadline.

RHP Kyle Kendrick (5-10), Friday's starter, threw 5 2/3 innings of three-run ball to earn his first win since July 8. The right-hander exited with the bases full, two outs and a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth. RHP Antonio Bastardo came in to finish the job, but promptly surrendered a grand slam to Alfredo Marte.

OF Domonic Brown went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs in the Phillies' win Friday. Brown has struggled overall at the plate this season hitting .231, but is batting .322 with runners in scoring position. "He looks a little more freer up there, a little more level swing, more relaxed," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "A good swing of the bat tonight with the home run, which should really build some confidence."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140726/philadelphia-phillies-playerwatch