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Manuel with team through Game 5

Manuel with team through Game 5

LOS ANGELES -- Charlie Manuel assumed his customary stance behind the batting cage, arms folded, legs crossed, head swiveling.

A day after his team took a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series, Manuel watched his players Saturday during the team's off-day workout at Dodger Stadium. With the players he loves is where he feels most comfortable and where he'll remain, amid the sad news of his mother's passing.

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The Phillies announced Saturday that Manuel will remain with the club through Game 5 of the NLCS, then return to Roanoke, Va., to attend a funeral service for June Manuel, who passed away early Friday morning after a short illness. She was 87.

Charlie found out that morning, but stayed to manage his team to an 8-5 win over the Dodgers. That loss -- as well as one felt by Shane Victorino, who learned of the passing of his grandmother, Irene, after the game -- cast a shadow over Friday's win.

"Everyone has feelings and respect for Charlie and Shane," general manager Pat Gillick said. "I think it was out of respect to them that there wasn't a lot of hooting and hollering. After what had happened, they were emotionally drained themselves."

The team will charter a flight from Los Angeles after Wednesday's potential Game 5. Manuel will attend a viewing Thursday night in Buena Vista, Va., the town where he grew up with 10 siblings. The funeral is scheduled for Friday morning, and Manuel is expected back in Philadelphia that night for Game 6 at Citizens Bank Park.

Being at the field was a must for Manuel. Nearly 45 years earlier, after attending his father's funeral in 1963, Manuel traveled 50 miles to play a high school baseball game, despite a suggestion from his coach to skip it. He hit a home run.

Now, Manuel's here to manage the Phillies to a World Series. His starting center fielder, Victorino, will be in his lineup Sunday, two days after losing his grandmother.

"Losing a loved one is hard, but it's something that happens to everyone," Victorino said. "I feel for Charlie, too. I'm sure he's going through a lot and holding it inside. We'll be OK, and we'll be ready to play Sunday."

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

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{"content":["league_championship_series" ] }
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