LOS ANGELES - Ryan Howard returned to the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Dodgers after Phillies manager Charlie Manuel benched him two games.
Manuel hoped two games off would help Howard clear his mind and get back on track, but he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Sunday's 6-1 loss to the Dodgers. Howard is hitless in his last 20 at-bats. He has not gone longer than 23 at-bats without a hit in his career.
"I definitely wanted to put him back on the right-hander today and see what he could do," Manuel said, referring to the Dodgers' Stephen Fife. "We've got to keep working with him and everybody because we need him to hit. We need to get him right. Believe me, we're going to keep trying."
Manuel picked Friday and Saturday to rest Howard because the Phillies faced a pair of left-handers. Howard's .599 OPS against left-handers from 2011-13 is 221st out of 232 hitters with 250 plate appearances against lefties in that span.
Kendrick has mild concussion after hit by pitch
LOS ANGELES -- Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick suffered a mild concussion Sunday when Dodgers pitcher Stephen Fife hit him in the head with a pitch in the sixth inning.
Kendrick will be evaluated Monday in Pittsburgh.
"If it's good tomorrow, I won't miss a start," Kendrick said after allowing four runs on 10 hits in the Phillies' 6-1 loss at Dodger Stadium.
There is a seven-day disabled list for players with concussions, so Kendrick could be placed on that. He said he started to get a headache while he was on the mound in the bottom of the sixth.
"I feel OK," he said. "I have a headache. I feel like I got hit in the head. The good thing is it's mild."
Lopes believes Phillies are still formidable
LOS ANGELES -- Davey Lopes knows the Phillies as well as anybody, and he still thinks they have a run in them.
He served as their first-base coach from 2007-10, which means he played a role in one World Series championship, two National League pennants and four National League East titles. Lopes has been the first-base coach with the Dodgers since.
But while the Phillies have limped through the first three months this season, Lopes said he believes the Phillies are better than they have showed.
"People talk about age, but if those guys are healthy, I don't think age is a factor," he said. "They can still play. The guy at first [Ryan Howard] is always dangerous. When I was there, we had guys at short, second and third hitting 30 bombs. That team had great pitching and were very smart, with an intellect for how to play the game -- [Chase] Utley and J-Roll [Jimmy Rollins], especially. They're head and shoulders over a lot of players. They were at that highest level those four years. They had a confidence with each other. They loved going into New York, J-Roll saying they were going to win the series, then going 6-for-10. He was the MVP for a reason. Those guys are strong mentally. I've got tremendous respect for those players and Charlie."
De Fratus moves on from tough stretch
LOS ANGELES -- It was a rough week for Phillies right-hander Justin De Fratus, but he remains unbowed.
He went 0-3 with a 27.00 ERA and one blown save in three appearances against San Diego and Los Angeles. De Fratus allowed five hits, four runs, five walks, one hit batter and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings. He was 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his first 19 appearances this season, which is why the Phillies have been putting him into some big situations recently.
"I've just got to continue to attack guys," De Fratus said. "Sometimes the balls find gloves. Sometimes they don't. For some reason this week they're not. But I'm going to show up tomorrow. It isn't going to beat me, man."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.