|Howard tunes up for return to Phillies|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 23 May 2007 09:50|
The game, a 7-4 win over the Hagerstown Suns, was Howard's first since May 9. The National League's 2006 Most Valuable Player is preparing to come off the disabled list for a strained left quadriceps.
``We look for him to come back, hopefully Friday, and be in the lineup,'' said Phillies general manager Pat Gillick, who watched the game with team president Dave Montgomery. ``But we'll just have to see what we get because he hadn't faced any game situations until today.''
With the score tied 3-3 in the seventh, Howard came up with runners on first and third and one out. After falling into an 0-2 hole against right-hander Chris Lugo, Howard worked the count to 2-2 before driving a fastball over the left-centerfield fence.
Howard walked in his first at-bat, then split the right-centerfield gap for an RBI double in the third. He struck out in the fifth.
``He looked like he was moving around all right, looks like he's got good mobility,'' Gillick said. ``He's moving well. It doesn't look like there's any restriction there.''
Howard led the majors with 58 home runs and 149 RBIs in 2006. He struggled this season, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 10 after hitting .204 with six homers, 23 RBIs and 39 strikeouts in 27 games.