Charlie Manuel didn't exactly go out on a limb like Jimmy Rollins did a couple of years ago -- the Phillies after all have been the class of the NL East for half a decade now -- but he did echo similar sentiments to J-Roll's at the beginning of this team's run.
"I think until somebody beats us, we're the team to beat. That's what I
think," Manuel said before the Phillies and Braves tied, 7-7, in
Philadelphia's Grapefruit League finale at Champion Stadium on Sunday.
"We ain't going to lay down for anybody. We've got a bunch of guys that
like to play. You can smack us. We're not going to turn the other cheek.
We're going to fight you back. We ain't going to lay down and die.
We've got some guys on our team that are going to make sure of that."
>>Manuel: Phils still team to beat in NL East [MLB]
SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.
Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.
The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.
Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.
Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.
It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).
The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.
There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.
Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.