MILWAUKEE -- Everybody said Ryan Howard would not be 100 percent healthy following his left Achilles surgery until next season.

He seemed to have trouble running the bases in Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park.

"He says he's OK," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He was having a hard time getting out of the box. That's what I thought. That could have something to do with his back side and stuff, getting started. I'm sure he's going to have days when his foot feels better than other days. Sometimes it's easier to get loose. Sometimes it's not. Different days are different."

Manuel reiterated that Howard's running should be improved by next season.

"It takes a while, but he should be better," he said. "They're very happy with the way he's moving right now. I'm a little surprised he moves like he does because I've seen it the other way around."

Schierholtz recovering, laments 'brutal' timing

MILWAUKEE -- Phillies outfielder Nate Schierholtz shook his head at the situation.

He had been praying for more playing time from the Giants for years, but only when they traded him to the Phillies on July 31 did that possibility become a reality. Philadelphia planned to play him nearly every day through the end of the regular season as they evaluated their personnel for next season.

So, naturally, Schierholtz broke his right big toe last week and landed on the 15-day disabled list Monday.

"It's just bad luck," he said before Friday's game against the Brewers at Miller Park. "It's frustrating to come here and get a chance to play and this is definitely a big setback. It's not the way I planned it. I feel like I'll be able to come back and still play a good amount of time. Just crossing my fingers that 15 days enough."

He can be activated as early as Aug. 28, but it remains to be seen when he will be back. It essentially is a pain tolerance issue.

"The timing is just brutal," he said.

Schierholtz had hit .219 (7-for-32) with one double, one home run and two RBIs in 11 games with the Phils. Manager Charlie Manuel said he liked what he had seen from him, including his ability to play right field.

Those are nice words to hear, but Schierholtz would like to get back on the field as quickly as possible and finish the season strong.

"It's just going to come down to me being able to run," he said. "That's the worst part. So it's feeling better every day. It's getting a little less sore. I haven't been able to run yet. Just trying to let it calm down.

"I'm not expecting to run pain-free for the rest of the season."

Schierholtz fouled a pitch off his toe Aug. 8 against Atlanta. He tried to play through the pain, but then he fouled another pitch off the toe Sunday against St. Louis.

"I don't think I've ever fouled a ball of my toe in my life," he said. "I did it twice in the same week. I was hurting pretty good after the first time and thought something was wrong. After Sunday, we got an X-ray and confirmed it."

Worth noting

• Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee struck out 12 and allowed zero walks and three home runs in Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Brewers. Elias Sports Bureau reported Lee was just the fourth pitcher since 1900 to have a 12-strikeout, zero-walk, three-home run game. The others are Curt Schilling (2001, '03), Bruce Hurst (1986) and Sonny Siebert (1967).

• Phillies starting pitchers entered Friday with a 1.39 ERA in their last seven road games.

• Laynce Nix played seven innings in center field Thursday. It was the first time he played center this season, and he caught the only ball hit his way.

"That's the Charlie Manuel outfield," Manuel joked. "Don't get any balls. That's good. That means you had a good night."