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TOR@PHI: Kendrick starts shaky but finishes strong

Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick hopes to end some of his tough luck Friday night when he faces the Reds in the series opener at Citizens Bank Park.

Kendrick is 0-3 with a 3.98 ERA in seven starts and has not won a start since Aug. 6. He is 0-8 since, although a lack of run support has something to do with that.

Kendrick has not allowed more than four earned runs in a start this season, and has held the opponent to fewer than four in five of his seven starts. But the Phillies have scored more than four runs in a game for him only twice.

He had been scheduled to face Reds right-hander Homer Bailey, but Wednesday's rainout has changed the Reds rotation. Alfredo Simon is now scheduled to pitch Friday's series opener with Bailey now scheduled to pitch on Saturday. That was the day Tony Cingrani appeared likely to be activated from the disabled list to start.

"We're still optimistic that Tony will pitch on that road trip," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "There's nothing that suggests he won't. Which game, we'll probably have a better idea in the next 48 hours. He could pitch on Sunday or Monday [at Washington] the way things are laying out now."

Reds: Mesoraco could be activated
• Barring an unexpected setback, the Reds are hopeful that primary catcher Devin Mesoraco will be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday. He suffered a strained left hamstring April 25 at Atlanta while trying to score on a base hit.

Mesoraco, who is hitting .468/.509/.787 in 13 games, is completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville.

Phillies: Brown needs to deliver
• Domonic Brown's production in left field has been a concern. He has just one home run since Aug. 14 last year. He entered Wednesday with a .593 OPS, which was lower than Ben Revere's .598 OPS. Revere has never hit a homer in his big league career.

More power from Brown would help the lineup tremendously. In Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Angels, Brown went 0-for-4 as his batting average dropped to .221.

"Pitchers are making adjustments on him," Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson said. "They're pitching him away and he's hitting it away. Last night he just missed two balls. I think he's found something in his load. He's feeling much better now.

"But he's got to adjust to them, too. He's doing it. He's starting to hit the ball the other way. The power part will come once he shows them he can go there. Then they'll start pitching him the way he wants them to pitch him."

Worth noting
• Cliff Lee on Tuesday suffered the first loss of his career in which he did not allow an earned run. He allowed four unearned runs in a 4-3 loss to the Angels. He is the first Phillies pitcher to lose a game without allowing an earned run since Brett Myers allowed one unearned run against the Pirates on April 6, 2003.

• Elias Sports Bureau said third baseman Cody Asche on Tuesday was the first Phillies player to commit at least three errors in a one-run loss since Mariano Duncan made three errors in a 6-5 loss to the Expos on May 22, 1993.

• Reds pitcher Mat Latos, who has been out all season because of various injuries, had his second bullpen session on Wednesday since his April setback of a strained flexor mass tendon in his right arm. All went well for Latos, who is expected to have one more bullpen session before advancing to a simulated game.

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