CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Notes: Burrell unable to get out of funk

Notes: Burrell unable to get out of funk

ST. LOUIS -- Pat Burrell will eventually smack four more home runs and reach 200 for his career. He'll also eventually drive in 25 runs and get to 700 RBIs.

It's just been slow going. Burrell's prolonged struggles have forced Phillies manager Charlie Manuel to find alternative left fielders. Greg Dobbs started there on Friday and Michael Bourn got the call in Sunday's series finale.

Burrell is hitting .146 since April 26, with 36 strikeouts in 144 at-bats. He has seven homers and 23 RBIs, and has more walks (38) than hits (21) hits during that stretch. He started off hot, batting .344 in his first 20 games, but with just one home run and eight RBIs. Burrell has started 58 of the team's 74 games this season.

More

His hit on Tuesday that knocked in two first-inning runs against Cleveland was his only hit in the previous eight games, and Manuel hopes the rest will give Burrell time to unclog his head.

"We'll see if we can get him going again," Manuel said. "You go through periods when you just don't hit the ball, or when you do, you're not hitting it hard. You're popping it up, you're hitting it on the ground, but your timing's not there. You're messed up. He needs to get some hits to get [his average] back up. That's how this game is."

Burrell hasn't struggled this much since 2003, when he hit .209 in 522 at-bats, with 21 homers and 64 RBIs. An 0-for-3 dropped him to .205, and he's had just four multi-hit games in his previous 53 games.

At this pace, Burrell would hit 17 homers and collect 66 RBIs in 449 at-bats, after posting 29 homers and 95 RBIs in 2006.

"He needs to go back-to-back days, or run off a 10-for-20," Manuel said. "That's when he'll get back in the groove. He'll find it. It's just a matter of staying with him."

It's just that, now, there are better options.

Bourn to start: Michael Bourn made the most of an opportunity to start on Sunday, recording three hits and driving in the Phillies' first and final runs.

He also just missed his first Major League home run, which ended up being a triple.

"I thought I had it, but the wind held it up," Bourn said. "Jimmy [Rollins] said it would have been way gone in Philly."

Largely used as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, it was his fourth start of the season and third in left field. Manuel suggested that Bourn may have worked his way into the hot-hand rotation that that position has become.

Bourn will just roll with it.

"I'll get at-bats whenever I can," Bourn said. "I just have to adapt to it and make the most of it."

Roomates and friends: Brian Sanches' first Major League win on Sunday came in his 21st Major League appearance, and Clay Condrey helped with a scoreless eighth inning.

Sanches wouldn't have it any other way. The two have been best friends since 2004, when they met in the Padres' organization. They were dealt to the Phillies within a week of each other that season, and have often found themselves together at whatever level of the Minor Leagues -- and for now, in the Majors.

Sanches was recalled June 17 from Triple-A Ottawa and Condrey arrived for the third time this season on Sunday. The two have also shared a three-bedroom suite in Clearwater, Fla., with their families for the past two seasons.

On Sunday, the pair combined for three scoreless innings.

"A great day for Apartment 939," Condrey said.

Remembering Beck: Count righty Adam Eaton as someone who considers himself fortunate to have played with Rod Beck, who passed away on Saturday at age 38.

The two were teammates with the Padres in 2003-04, and Eaton remembers the character Beck brought to the club.

"The long hair and the handle bar [mustache], and the swinging of his arm when he pitched," Eaton said. "He'd come in and pitch an inning, and he'd be sweating through the bill. He was a constant sweater. He was one of those guys who you look back, and you said, 'I played with Rod Beck.'"

Philling in: The Phillies plan to resolve their starter situation by Tuesday, with the candidates remaining J.A. Happ, J.D. Durbin, Carlos Carrasco or the remote possibility of trade. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Ryan Madson, who started last season, is not an option. Happ is a strong possibility, as the lefty is scheduled to pitch Sunday for Triple-A Ottawa, and would have the necessary rest to pitch on either Friday or Saturday. ... The Phillies need a starter for the second game of Friday's doubleheader against the Mets, then one for Saturday. ... The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that outfielder Shane Victorino will substitute for CBS3 sports director Beasley Reece on Monday for the 11 p.m. ET broadcast. Reese has the day off.

Coming up: After an off-day, the Phillies host the Reds for a three-game series on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Kyle Kendrick earned the first win of his big-league career last Tuesday against the Indians, going six innings and allowing three runs for the second straight start. The Phillies have won both games he's pitched. The 22-year-old has walked three and struck out five over his two starts.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Less