07/15/12 8:28 PM ET
Howard, Utley get planned off-day vs. Rox
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
Sunday's series finale against the Rockies found Ryan Howard and Chase Utley getting a breather as they each work back to full strength after spending the first three months of the season on the disabled list with a left Achilles and left knee injury, respectively.
"Right now, for Howard and Utley, it's two on, one [off]," Manuel said of his plan for his clean-up and No. 3 hitters. "But I want to build it up to three and four, and then turn them loose. I'll always give them a break during the week, but I'd like to get them as many games as possible."
Utley has played in 12 games since returning from the DL on June 27. He is hitting .262 with two homers and five RBIs, and has been thrown out in one stolen base attempt. Utley was hitting .375 (3-for-8) with three RBIs through the first two games of the two-city road trip that continues Monday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
Howard went two-for-eight in his first two games since coming off the DL on July 6, then had an 0-for-7 stretch in two games against the Rockies on Friday and Saturday. The Rockies have thrown a pair of southpaws at the Phillies to open and close the series, with rookie Christian Friedrich winning Friday's opener and fellow rookie Drew Pomeranz climbing the hill for Sunday's rubber match.
"They are throwing a lefty," Manuel said. "I didn't play Placido [Polanco] at third [on Saturday] because I want him to play Sunday, because it's likely Howard won't play."
Ty Wigginton (.247, nine homers, 35 RBIs) got the majority of starts at first with Howard out of commission, and he made the start at first on Sunday, batting fifth. Mike Fontenot (.314, one homer, five RBIs) made his 13th start at second on Sunday.
"He's got a short stroke," Manuel said of Fontenot's ability in left-on-left match-ups. "He hits them okay at times."
The Phillies last series victory came June 19-21 at home against the Rockies. They haven't won a road series since June 12-14 at Minnesota.
Halladay to start Tuesday vs. Dodgers
DENVER -- The Phillies made it official on Sunday: Roy Halladay will be the starting pitcher on Tuesday for the middle game of a three-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Halladay has been on the disabled list since May 28 with a right lat strain.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner and three-time 20-game winner is 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 starts this season. He is 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA for his career at Dodger Stadium.
Halladay, 35, made a rehab start on Thursday with the Class A Fort Myers Miracle, pitching three innings and allowing one earned run on three hits.
It was a minimal, one-start rehab assignment, but the Phillies are confident that their Opening Day starter is ready to rejoin the club.
"He felt like he was ready, and that's kind of what he wanted to do," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I trust him. I thought he was a good option, even if he threw left-handed."
Halladay threw 61 pitches, striking out four and walking none. After a full count to the first batter he faced, he didn't go to a three-ball count the rest of his outing.
Halladay, a Denver native, threw 30 pitches in a Coors Field bullpen session on Saturday.
Outfielder Laynce Nix started his third consecutive game for Class A Clearwater on Saturday as part of his rehabilitation from a left calf strain that landed him on the disabled list on May 10.
Nix went 0-for-5 on Saturday, and is 2-for-8 in three games with a home run, two RBIs and three walks. He did not play on Sunday.
In 22 games with the Phillies, including 10 starts at first base and four in left field, Nix is hitting .326 (15-for-46) with two homers and 11 RBIs.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.