HOUSTON -- Right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who will pitch the first game of Thursday's doubleheader at home against Florida, is anxious to get back out there after returning from the paternity leave list last weekend.

Kendrick and wife, "Survivor" contestant Stephenie LaGrossa, welcomed their first child, a daughter, over the first weekend this month.

"I've never gone this long without facing a hitter, but I'm staying pretty sharp on the side and throwing off the mounds," Kendrick said.

Kendrick last pitched in a game on Aug. 24, a four-inning stint against the Mets, and is 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 13 starts this season. He has thrown a couple of bullpen sessions, but facing live hitting is the main issue, as well as arm strength.

"I haven't thrown that many pitches," he said. "But I think I should be fine. I don't know what my pitch count might be but [my goal would be] to go as deep as I can and just keep us in the game."

Victorino rests, Polanco returns to lineup

HOUSTON -- Shane Victorino was not in manager Charlie Manuel's starting lineup against the Astros on Tuesday.

"Just giving him a blow today," Manuel said before the game. "We'll see where it goes. I've got him pinch-hitting if we need him."

Manuel did need him, as Victorino came into the game as part of a double switch after Cole Hamels was removed after his five innings of work. Victorino had two at-bats, and struck out twice, including the final out of the Phillies' 5-2 loss.

Victorino entered Tuesday hitting .327 against lefties this season with eight homers in 107 at-bats, but didn't have the opportunity to face Astros lefty starter and former teammate J.A. Happ.

Victorino is now hitting just .143 (2-for-14) in five games against the Astros this season.

Placido Polanco, who has been on the DL twice this season, was rested Monday and not in the starting lineup although the Phillies' third baseman did draw a pinch-hit walk in the ninth.

"I think he played three or four in a row," Manuel said. "We've got to be watching him. We don't want him to cramp up."

Polanco had lower back inflammation in July and a sports hernia in mid-August.

Since his batting average topped out at .398 (41-for-103) on April 30, he has batted .239 (75-for-314) in his last 80 games.

He returned to the starting lineup Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, where he is hitting .301 (31-for-103) lifetime with four homers and 12 RBIs in 28 games.

Manuel to ease Rollins back into action

HOUSTON -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is going to be cautious with shortstop and leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins, who returned to the starting lineup Monday.

"I'll probably play him a couple of days and then rest him, play him a couple more then rest him, and then let him go," Manuel said.

It's safe to say he won't be playing both ends of the upcoming doubleheader Thursday at home against the Florida Marlins.

"I don't think so," Manuel said. "Unless he plays the first game and gets about four hits; [then] he'll play the second [game]."

Rollins went 1-for-4 in his Monday return, avoiding the 0-fer with an eighth-inning leadoff single.

Worth noting

• On Tuesday, Ryan Howard was announced as the Phillies' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field. Tomorrow marks the 10th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor the Hall of Famer's legacy.

• The Phillies entered play Tuesday leading all MLB clubs this year in fielding percentage (.989) and fewest errors (62).