PHILADELPHIA -- Somewhat overlooked in the Phillies' 8-2 loss to the Braves on Saturday was the performance of the bullpen.
After starter Roy Halladay struggled through 1 2/3 innings, six Philadelphia relievers -- none older than 26 -- combined to allow just one run on four hits over the final 7 1/3 frames.
Left-hander Jeremy Horst struck out a career-high four in 1 1/3 innings and right-hander B.J. Rosenberg extended his scoreless streak to seven innings with two frames.
The performance lowered the bullpen's combined ERA to 4.00, a testament to the improvement of the young and inexperienced group. The 'pen, which owned a 4.76 ERA at the All-Star break, has a 3.01 second-half ERA, which ranks fifth in the National League.
Kendrick to assume Cloyd's start Wednesday
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies shuffled their rotation slightly in preparation for the season's final stretch, as Kyle Kendrick is slated to pitch in Tyler Cloyd's spot on Wednesday, according to the team's official game notes.
Because of Monday's off-day, Wednesday's start will be on regular rest for Kendrick (10-11, 3.89 ERA). Cole Hamels (15-6, 3.05 ERA) will start the series opener against the Nationals on Tuesday.
Following Hamels and Kendrick, Thursday's starter remains up in the air. It could be Cloyd (2-1, 3.86 ERA), who pitched eight innings of one-run ball against the Mets on Thursday, or Roy Halladay (10-8, 4.40 ERA), who struggled through the second-shortest outing of his career in Saturday's loss to the Braves.
Halladay said after the game that he had been bothered a bit by "spasms" in the area behind his right shoulder but that it was nothing major. He said he hoped to make his final two starts.
Carlos Ruiz started for the third straight day on Sunday, the first time he's done so since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 7. Ruiz had been dealing with plantar fasciitis, so the Phillies were easing him back into the lineup. He's since been let loose, as the All-Star catcher has now started six of the last seven games.
Already having set career highs in home runs (15), RBIs (62), runs (52) and extra-base hits (44), Ruiz needs three more hits to tie his career high of 116.
Chase Utley is one home run shy of the 200th of his career. He would become the ninth in Phillies history to reach the milestone, and the first second baseman.
Ryan Howard has 45 RBIs over the last 43 games, trailing only the Padres' Chase Headley (48) in the National League in that span.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones got the day off in Sunday's series finale, meaning Saturday's start was his last in Philadelphia. He batted .331 with 49 home runs and 152 RBIs in 245 career games against the Phillies.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.