5/31/2014 10:52 P.M. ET
Brown still looking to progress at the plate
By Erik Bacharach and Paul Hagen / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Every time Domonic Brown has taken one step forward this season, he's taken another two steps back the following game.
Friday night was a step forward.
The left fielder's batting average dipped to .199 after a fly out to left in his first at-bat, but his ride on the interstate was short-lived. In his next at-bat, Brown connected on a 2-0 fastball for a three-run home run, his fourth homer of the season.
"All I can do is just play hard and keep doing little things," Brown said. "Getting here early, preparing the right way, just keep having fun. I think that eventually, things will start to click."
Earlier in the week, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Brown was getting pitches to hit, but was just having trouble "connecting."
"He gets pitches to hit and he fouls them off. Before you know it, he's got two strikes."
After last night, Sandberg said the key for Brown was establishing a hitter's count.
"It was good to see," Sandberg said. "That's the type of swing and type of game that can boost his confidence. Something I was hoping for or looking for. It was right at the right time."
Manship strains right quad in extra-inning loss
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies reliever Jeff Manship, who pitched four perfect innings of relief while striking out six, strained his right quad while trying to leg out a ground ball in the bottom of the 13th inning of Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies had runners on first and second with nobody out. With Domonic Brown at the plate, outfielder John Mayberry Jr. moved into the on deck circle to bat for Manship. But when Brown grounded into a double play, leaving Ryan Howard at third with two outs, manager Ryne Sandberg called Brown back and let the pitcher hit for himself.
Manship hit a slow grounder up the middle and, for a moment, it looked as though he might write a storybook ending by winning his own game by beating the throw from shortstop Ruben Tejada. But a few steps before he reached the base he pulled up, clearly injured, and had to leave the game.
Afterward Sandberg said that Mayberry, his only remaining bat on the bench, had been a decoy and that he had always intended to leave Manship in for at least one more inning. After pitching in a 14-inning game on Friday night, right-handers Justin De Fratus and Mike Adams weren't available and he wanted to stay away from lefty Antonio Bastardo if possible.
When Manship departed, Bastardo came in to pitch for the fourth straight game and was charged with the loss.
"In an emergency situation, if we'd continued, we would have possibly had [starter Roberto] Hernandez for an inning, which would have affected his start on Monday," Sandberg explained.
Sandberg said no decision had been made about placing Manship on the disabled list, although after back-to-back 14-inning games it seems unlikely the team would go a pitcher short for even a game. "We're going to need some help for [Sunday]," he admitted.
Said Manship: "I hope this isn't anything major. I don't think it is. It was definitely a frustrating way to go out. I was feeling real good pitching. It's something to build on.
"I realized there weren't too many people left [in the bullpen], so it's basically on me at that point. That's what's really frustrating about getting hurt in that situation. I'm sure we were hoping not to throw Antonio there and we ended up having to. Everything felt like it was working for me there. It's just a frustrating way to go out."
Adding to the sense of futility was the fact that Manship might well have been safe if he hadn't gotten hurt. "It looked like he might have had a pretty good shot at beating that out if he'd been able to continue to run," Sandberg said.
Manship said he didn't feel any discomfort until the last five or 10 feet.
"I was going to do anything I possibly could to get that hit there. That would have been the first Major League hit and obviously a game-winner so I was going to do everything I possibly could," he said.
Howard tallies 1,000th career RBI on homer
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard's three-run, opposite-field homer in the seventh inning of Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Mets game gave him 1,000 career RBIs.
Howard needed just 1,230 games to reach the milestone, the fewest games needed among all active Major League players to reach the milestone. Currently, there are just 17 active players in MLB with 1,000 or more RBIs.
The first baseman passed Chuck Klein (984) earlier this season for fourth-most RBIs in Phillies history. Howard now trails only Mike Schmidt (1,595), Ed Delahanty (1,286) and Del Ennis (1,124).
Brignac's heroics rewarded with another start
PHILADELPHIA -- Reid Brignac will always remember his first start as a member of the Phillies.
The third baseman ripped an 0-1 cutter to left field to score the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning early early Saturday morning in Philadelphia's marathon victory.
"It felt great to be out on the field and playing," Brignac said. "I love playing this game, it's something I've done my entire life, so it felt great to be out there and hopefully a night like tonight will get me in there tomorrow."
Brignac got his wish, and is starting for the second consecutive game at third base on Saturday against the Mets.
With Cody Asche on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring for the foreseeable future, and Cesar Hernadez struggling to adjust at third base, Brignac seems poised to get more playing time at the hot corner. Still, he is ready to assume any role manager Ryne Sandberg assigns him.
"It's not up to me," Brignac said about his playing time. "I'm here to play every day. I'm here to come off the bench. I'm here to do whatever the team needs me to do in any situation on any given day. It's not up to me. I like to play. We all like to play. So whatever skip has for me that day, I'm all on board for."
Oswalt throws out first pitch at Citizens Bank Park
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Oswalt returned to Citizens Bank Park to sign autographs and throw out the first pitch before Saturday's Phillies-Mets game.
"It's a blast. Getting to come back and just watch the game instead of trying to win a game. It's pretty nice," Oswalt said. "I got to play in four different organizations. And [the Phillies are] one of the classiest organizations I've played for. Just great front office people, great people all around. Got a winning atmosphere when you walk in the clubhouse. And I just had a great two years here."
In 13 Major League seasons, Oswalt accrued a 163-102 record with a 3.36 ERA and 1,852 strikeouts. Between 2010 and 2011, Oswalt went 16-11 for Philadelphia and helped lead the 2010 squad to the NLCS.
"It was fun, the whole experience," Oswalt said." Got to go to the playoffs twice, we missed the World Series by one game one year. And just had a great team. You got out there and win 100 and something games a year, you know you're having a good time."
Bullpen impresses in Friday's extra-inning win
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' bullpen, which has the second-highest ERA in the National League, has been a source of inconsistency all year, but Friday night was a positive change of pace.
Jake Diekman, Mike Adams, Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo, Mario Hollands and Justin De Fratus allowed a combined three hits, four walks and struck out eight to hold the Mets scoreless in seven innings of relief.
"They gave us a chance," Phillies manager Ryan Sandberg said.
"From the bullpen's perspective, it's awesome to go out there and hang that many zeroes," De Fratus said.
Bastardo, who walked five batters over one inning pitched in appearances on Wednesday and Thursday, pitched a flawless 1-2-3 11th inning.
"I think it's going to be a definite confidence builder for sure," De Fratus said. "Antonio went out there, had an awesome inning. Myself, I feel a had a good couple of innings and I'm going to build off of that confidence-wise. Diekman, Mario, Pap, Adams, everybody did a great job."
Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.