Ryan Howard hobbled up the dugout steps Saturday afternoon and into the oppressive heat at Citizens Bank Park to take some swings. He smiled. The first baseman was in Charlie Manuel's lineup one day after bashing a homer against a lefthanded pitcher. That feat came hours after Manuel proclaimed Howard would play every game until the All-Star break.
It will not happen.
Howard was scratched from the Phillies' lineup Saturday shortly after batting practice concluded. His balky left knee, which may contain a torn meniscus, was bothersome. Howard limped during the first inning Friday. He still hit the homer and played the entire game.
The Phillies have said Howard is not well but continue to play him until the injury is debilitating. Howard has not started in five of the team's last 11 games. So that point could be nearing.
Howard's injury caused a lineup shuffle. Ben Revere moved from seventh to leadoff. Laynce Nix was inserted at first base for his third start in the Phillies' last 44 games and first since June 13. Domonic Brown ascended to Howard's cleanup spot.
The late change robbed Howard of a favorable matchup. He is a career .328 hitter (22 for 67) with seven home runs against Braves righthander Tim Hudson.
The full lineup:
1. Ben Revere 8
2. Chase Utley 4
3. Jimmy Rollins 6
4. Domonic Brown 7
5. Michael Young 5
6. Delmon Young 9
7. Laynce Nix 3
8. Carlos Ruiz 2
9. Kyle Kendrick 1
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