Game Chat: Phils Out to End Slide Amid Good News on Injury Front

Game Chat: Phils Out to End Slide Amid Good News on Injury Front

For
the second time in 17 games, the Phillies are undoing the progress
they've made in the standings with a four-game losing streak. The good
guys once again find themselves five games back of the Nationals, one
game under .500.

Elsewhere, things are a bit better. Chase Utley
and Ryan Howard looked good at the plate in extended spring training,
and Roy Halladay held a press conference to announce he'll begin
throwing again after three weeks of rest. None of them are close to a
return, but return it seems they all will.

What condition their
Phillies teammates are in when that happens though hinges so much on
every last game, and tonight is another big one. Kyle Kendrick tries to
steer his mates away from a new low: their first five-game skid of the
season.

Kendrick has been plodding along steadily since becoming
more of a fixture in the rotation. He's 2-4 with a 4.02 ERA, but as
usual, his numbers as a starter are even better, 2-3 and 3.27. KK has
won in consecutive outings, and hasn't allowed more than two runs in any
of his last four.

He could run into some trouble tonight though.
A couple of Los Angeles Dodgers have enjoyed tremendous success against
Kendrick. Naturally, Andre Ethier is one of them. The All-Star right
fielder is 5-for-13 with a pair of homers and 7 RBI off the righthander.
First baseman James Loney is the other, and while he's having something
of a down year so far, the lifetime .285 hitter is 8-for-14, also with
two diners and 7 RBI on Kendrick. Scary match-up there.

The
Phillies' struggling offense isn't catching any breaks with Chris
Capuano going for LA. he's having a career year, off to a 7-2 start with
a 2.50 ERA. Capuano had the dreaded Tommy John surgery and wound up
missing the '08 and '09 seasons for the Brewers, and after an
up-and-down year for the Mets in 2011, he joined the Dodgers and has
been a fantastic addition for them. He is currently fourth in the NL in
hits per nine.

Charlie Manuel doesn't have anybody in the lineup
who hits Capuano exceptionally well. Hector Luna is 5-for-15 all time
versus the lefty, but he is sitting this one out. Juan Pierre has seen
Cap the most, going 9-for-26, but those are presumably Juan Pierre-type
hits -- bunts, flares, infield singles, etc.

Something's got to
give here. The Fightins need a win bad tonight, but the numbers would
suggest their odds are not very good. We shall see.

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

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 makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

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.