7/2/2013 7:00 P.M. ET
Manuel sees 'a lot of determination' from Pirates
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies are facing the hottest club in baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have won nine in a row and own the best record in baseball. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spoke to how well the Pirates have played.
"I see a lot of hustle and I see a lot of determination," Manuel said of the Pirates. "I see good pitching and I see position players that play hard. I've seen them play quite a bit when I can; I watch games on television and they're pretty good.
"They have been winning a lot of one-run games and they've been playing extra-inning games, and they seem like they win every one of them. And that's a sign that their bullpen holds people and starting pitching is good, but the bullpen kind of stands out.
"They've got enough hitting. Pedro Alvarez is improving and they've got one of the best players in baseball in center field [in Andrew McCutchen]. They've got a catcher that's gotten some big hits, and he definitely has something to do with their staff."
Kendrick feeling healthy, not scheduled to miss start
PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies received good news concerning right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who was evaluated in Pittsburgh after he sustained a mild concussion Sunday when Dodgers pitcher Stephen Fife hit him in the head with a pitch in the sixth inning.
"He had an exertion test this morning and did very well," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He's going to throw a bullpen tomorrow and he should be good to go for his start, which is good news."
Kendrick is slated to pitch on Saturday in Philadelphia against Atlanta.
"He's feeling fine," Amaro Jr. said. "I think it was a very mild one when they did the original testing after the game two days ago. He's doing pretty well, he should be good to go. Obviously [not] if there is something that happens in the next 24 or 48 hours, but right now he should be fine for his start."
Injured battery members on road to recovery
PITTSBURGH -- Some of the Phillies' walking wounded are making progress, according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Catcher Erik Kratz (torn medial meniscus in left knee) went on the 15-day disabled list June 9. He had surgery June 12, and he is out until late July or early August. Left-hander Jeremy Horst (left elbow sprain) went on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 16. The time frame for his return was uncertain, and right-hander Michael Stutes (right biceps tendinitis) went on the 15-day DL on June 23.
"Kratz is catching bullpens and started a running program," Amaro Jr. said. "He's going to be closer to four weeks than six weeks. Not sure when we'll get him into games; he'll be seen when we get back.
"Horst is throwing and doing fine. Stutes is not throwing quite yet, but he's feeling a little better every day. He still has some soreness in the shoulder."
• The Phillies are just 14-24 (.368) against the Pirates in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001. The Phils have not won a series in Pittsburgh since April 25-27, 2008, and they have lost each of their last four series at PNC Park (4-9 in 13 games since '09).
• Since June 7, seven of the Phillies' 14 losses have been charged to the bullpen. Overall, Philadelphia's bullpen has 15 losses, tied for ninth most in the Majors.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.