The news keeps getting better for the Philadelphia Phillies. On Wednesday night, Chase Utley made his season debut, smacking a home run in his first plate appearance of the year. Ryan Howard starts a rehab assignment on Thursday, and they expect him to rejoin the lineup in a matter of weeks. A win on Thursday afternoon, would give them three games out of four against the Pirates and only their second series win of the month.
Standing in their way is Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, who is having a rebound season himself. He threw six shutout innings against the Tigers in his last start, and owns a 3.24 ERA this season. If things hold, it will be the first time since 2007 Burnett has had an ERA lower than 4.00.
Kyle Kendrick gets the ball for Philadelphia. In 11 starts and 16 total appearances this season, Kendrick is 2-7 with a 5.24 ERA. He has allowed 18 runs in his last four starts and an 0-3 record through that same stretch.
The game starts at 1:05 p.m. Eastern. Fans can watch it on CSN in Philadelphia.