6/23/2013 8:18 P.M. ET
Howard finds his power stroke on homestand
By Stephen Pianovich / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Before this homestand, Ryan Howard had one home run in his last 33 games, but the low power numbers did not seem to worry manager Charlie Manuel too much.
At the beginning of the week, Manuel predicted that his slugging first baseman would start driving the ball over the fence more often -- and he was right.
In the first five games of the Phillies' homestand, Howard went deep three times, including a two-homer, four-RBI performance on Saturday. The four runs driven in were the most he's had in a game this season, and it was his first multihomer game in nearly 22 months.
Howard was 9-for-18 with seven RBIs since the Phillies came back to Citizens Bank Park, and he was hitting .471 in his last nine games entering Sunday. Manuel said Howard is being more selective at the plate lately and getting the fat part of the bat on the ball.
"Usually when you do that, you'll get some timing, and he's doing it consistently in games, especially against right-handers," Manuel said. "And you could see it [Saturday]. He got the ball up in the air because he took good, quick swings at the ball."
Stutes hits DL while Adams seeks second opinion
PHILADELPHIA -- For the second consecutive day, the Phillies placed a right-handed reliever on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.
Michael Stutes was forced to the DL on Sunday after setup man Mike Adams landed there Saturday. Though they both have the same ailment, Stutes said he expected the injury to be a "small setback," while Adams' arm could be in worse shape.
Right-hander Phillippe Aumont was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Stutes.
Adams said something has felt off with his arm for about two or three weeks, and noted there were "concerns" after getting an MRI. He plans on getting a second opinion while the Phillies are on a road trip on the West Coast in the next week.
"There's some stuff going on that we're concerned about," Adams said. "So we're going to go to San Diego, and I'm going to see [Dr. Neal ElAttrache] and see what he thinks and get his opinion on what he feels the next step's going to be and just go from there."
Adams last pitched on Wednesday, and though he said he felt fine during the game and directly afterward, he had trouble doing activities when he got home.
"I tried to lift my little boy up and I wasn't able to do that," Adams said. "Just lifting my arm up was pretty uncomfortable. I kind of made my decision then to get it looked at and take a step back and see what was really going on, and that's where we're at now."
Adams, who was also on the DL earlier this season with a strained back, signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Phillies in the offseason. The 34-year-old is 1-4 with a 3.96 ERA in 25 innings.
With Adams out, and a day after the bullpen surrendered a six-run lead, it seemed like it could not get worse for Phillies relievers. Alas, it did, and Stutes hit the DL.
The 26-year-old said his arm had been a bit sore for a few days, and by Sunday, he and team doctors decided it would be best if he took some time off.
"[It's] something I've tried to pitch through," Stutes said. "We decided it's better to not let it become something more major."
Stutes had a 1.32 ERA in his first 11 appearances this season, but that number has ballooned to 5.17 after he allowed seven earned runs in his last three outings.
Aumont began the season with the Phillies, but he was sent down in May after compiling a 4.15 ERA, with 15 strikeouts and 10 walks in 13 innings.
Adjustments have paid off for newcomer Ramirez
PHILADELPHIA -- J.C. Ramirez said he had to make some tough adjustments when he was pitching for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and they have paid off.
Ramirez, a right-handed reliever, was called up Saturday to fill the void left by setup man Mike Adams, who landed on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.
It's the second DL stint of the year for Adams, who missed time in May with a strained back. He is 1-4 with a 3.96 ERA in 25 innings.
Meanwhile, Ramirez is in the Majors for the first time, and he struck out the side in his first big league appearance Sunday against the Mets. He had a 6.53 ERA in 27 appearances at Triple-A, but said he worked with Lehigh Valley pitching coach Ray Burris on keeping his sinker down in the zone and his tempo with runners on base.
Ramirez said he thinks the adjustments made a difference. In his final eight games in the Minors, he had a 2.70 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.
"I was working every day on my mechanics with Ray," Ramirez said. "I felt like I saw the results -- there weren't as many stolen bases and I kept the game closer every time I went to the mound."
Ramirez was acquired from Seattle in a four-player deal that saw the Phillies part ways with Cliff Lee in 2009. Ramirez is now in the same clubhouse as Lee, who rejoined the Phillies in 2011, and though it was a blockbuster deal, Ramirez said he did not feel much pressure to perform after joining the Phillies' organization at 21.
"I was a young guy, a young prospect trying to make my career," Ramirez said. "I was trying to make an impact and make my way to the big leagues."
Frandsen has history with walk-off victim Torres
PHILADELPHIA -- Kevin Frandsen's walk-off homer Saturday did not come without its own share of history.
Frandsen hit the towering shot, which made the Phillies 8-7 winners against the Mets, off Carlos Torres, a fellow San Francisco Bay Area native. Frandsen, whose heroics came in a pinch-hitting role, said he's faced Torres a handful of times, dating back to when he was a junior in high school.
It was Frandsen's first career walk-off homer in the Majors, and according to the San Jose, Calif., product, his first home run to end a game since he was playing in a summer league during college. Ironically, that home run, Frandsen said, came against a team that Torres was a part of.
"You know the funny thing? It was probably his summer league team in college," Frandsen said. "I hit one against them. That was the last time I hit a walk-off homer."
Frandsen was hitting .280 in 45 games this season entering Sunday, and Saturday's blast was his second walk-off hit of the season. His three-run double lifted the Phillies against the Royals on April 6.
• The Phillies are 10-2 in their last 12 games against the Mets entering Sunday. In a streak that dates back to last August, the Phillies have outscored their division foes 71-35 in those games.
• When they score four runs or more, like they did Saturday, the Phillies are 27-8 this season.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.