Exhale Phillies fans: It’s only a cramp.
The Phillies could hardly afford to lose Howard again. The reigning NL MVP missed two weeks with a quad injury that began bothering him in spring training, and had three homers in five games since coming off the disabled list last Friday.
“My leg is fine,” said Howard, who came out two batters after he got hurt. “I know what to do. I had to stretch it out.”
The Diamondbacks lost rookie third baseman Mark Reynolds to a neck contusion, though he’s listed as day-to-day after getting X-rays.
“He’ll probably need a day off,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s a tough kid.”
Owings (4-1) gave up one run and seven hits. He tripled off the right-field wall with two outs in the fifth and didn’t come out for the sixth.
Reynolds collided with pitcher Brandon Medders on Michael Bourn’s bunt single leading off the seventh. Medders’ knee appeared to hit the side of Reynolds’ head as he leaped to avoid contact. Reynolds fell to the grass and stayed there for a few minutes before being helped off the field by two trainers.
“I remember going for the ball and the next thing I know I was laying on the ground,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds is hitting .420 (21-for-50) with three homers and 13 RBIs since being called up from Double-A Mobile.
“I don’t want to be another Wally Pipp,” he said.
A night after closer Jose Valverde turned a four-run lead into a one-run game in the ninth, the Diamondbacks’ middle relievers let the Phillies chip away in the seventh.
After Bourn’s bunt hit, Shane Victorino walked to chase Medders. Doug Slaten came in to face Chase Utley, who delivered a two-run single off the left-hander after the runners advanced on a passed ball by catcher Miguel Montero.
Hudson had a two-run single with two outs and Stephen Drew cleared the bases with a triple.
“We didn’t play very good,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Phillies fell back to .500 with their second straight loss after sweeping a three-game series in Atlanta.
Lieber allowed five runs and 13 hits in 6 2-3 innings. The Diamondbacks pounded Lieber for seven hits in the second. Drew led off with a single and Chris Young doubled. Alberto Callaspo’s sacrifice fly to right drove in the first run. With a drawn-in infield, Montero singled to right to make it 2-0.
Dobbs hit a solo shot in the eighth.
The Phillies were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Injured Phillies reliever Tom Gordon played catch for the first time since going on the disabled list early this month with a rotator cuff strain. Gordon hopes to return by the end of June, though it’s too early for a definite timetable. … Hudson finished 4-for-6, tying a career high in hits. He’s done it seven times.