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Kendrick tests hamstring, starts at DH

Left fielder nearing return to field after missing 4 games with strain
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Howie Kendrick is getting closer to a full return for the Phillies.

Manager Pete Mackanin said Kendrick is ready to test his strained left hamstring -- which had kept him out the past four games, aside from two plate appearances as a pinch-hitter -- as he started at designated hitter in Tuesday's Interleague matchup with the Mariners, going 0-for-4 with an RBI.

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SEATTLE -- Howie Kendrick is getting closer to a full return for the Phillies.

Manager Pete Mackanin said Kendrick is ready to test his strained left hamstring -- which had kept him out the past four games, aside from two plate appearances as a pinch-hitter -- as he started at designated hitter in Tuesday's Interleague matchup with the Mariners, going 0-for-4 with an RBI.

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However, Kendrick is still not quite ready to return to his regular duty in left field.

"He says he's OK to DH," Mackanin said. "His only concern is on defense. He can control his running from base to base, but when you have to make quick spurts here and there defensively, he's concerned about that."

Kendrick's bat gives the Phillies' lineup a needed boost, as he is slashing .361/.418/.492 with eight doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs in 32 games. A lengthy stint on the disabled list due to a right abdominal strain from April 16-May 29 caused Kendrick to miss 37 games..

Eickhoff could return soon

Mackanin said injured starter Jerad Eickhoff will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, and the Phillies will then make a decision on his next step.

Video: ARI@PHI: Eickhoff allows one run over six innings

The right-hander has been on the 10-day disabled list since June 20 with an upper back strain. He experienced stiffness in his back during his last start against the D-backs on June 17, in which he allowed one run on five hits over six innings. Eickhoff is 0-7 with a 4.93 ERA through 14 starts.

Mark Leiter, who is making his second career start on Wednesday in Seattle, is filling in for Eickhoff.

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Phillies on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Phillies, Howie Kendrick