He might have to try something else Tuesday night to get the Phillies going as they continue their three-game set at Dodger Stadium.
The Phillies (73-58) lead the NL wild-card race by 1 1/2 games over San Francisco and trail Atlanta by three in the East despite batting .184 over their last 12 contests. To get better production, Manuel moved Chase Utley(notes) up to the second spot in the order - from his usual No. 3 position - placed Placido Polanco(notes) behind him and moved Ryan Howard(notes) one spot down.
Instead of solving its woes, Philadelphia managed only Shane Victorino’s(notes) eighth-inning single in Monday’s 3-0 loss to the Dodgers, who were playing their first game without slugger Manny Ramirez(notes).
“We waited a long time before we got a hit, didn’t we?” Manuel said. “If that lineup doesn’t hit, then we’re in trouble. That was the lineup we wanted to put on the field from day one.”
Utley is hitting .147 with three RBIs and eight strikeouts over his last nine games. Howard is batting .082 in his last 13 contests and .111 since returning from the disabled list (ankle) Saturday.
“We definitely need Chase and Ryan to get hot,” Manuel told the team’s website.
The Phillies will try to snap out of their hitting funk against Dodgers rookie Carlos Monasterios(notes) (3-4, 3.54 ERA), who has lost four straight decisions. The right-hander, who is filling in for an injured Vicente Padilla(notes), is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA since rejoining the rotation Aug. 20, tossing 4 1-3 innings in each of his two outings.
He allowed one run and two hits in a 7-1 victory Thursday in Milwaukee, and will make his first start against Philadelphia. The only time he faced the Phillies on Aug. 10, Monasterios gave up two runs and four hits over 1 2-3 innings.
The Dodgers (68-64) are 5 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the wild-card race.
To keep fending off Los Angeles, Philadelphia will look to Kyle Kendrick(notes) (8-7, 4.64), who has lost consecutive starts and is 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA in his last four. The right-hander gave up four runs and nine hits over six innings in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to Houston.
Despite Kendrick’s struggles, the Phillies have stayed afloat in part due to a 2.10 ERA from their pitching staff. However, they haven’t figured out how to pitch to former catcher Rob Barajas, who homered in Monday’s victory.
Barajas, a member of the 2007 Philadelphia squad, is batting .514 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs against his former club since leaving them. He has a solo homer in two at-bats against Kendrick.
The Dodgers and Phillies have split four games this season but Los Angeles has won eight of the past 10 home meetings.