Manuel gives Howard break to rest knee

Manuel gives Howard break to rest knee

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard snapped an 0-for-22 slump, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, during Philadelphia's 3-1 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night.

Howard has been struggling with an aching left knee and was not in the starting lineup for Wednesday night's game.

"I thought I'd let him rest today and give him a day off," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Let his knee get a break. When Ryan's knee is bothering him and a lefty is pitching, I think that's a good time to give him a blow, and that's kind of what we've been doing. He'll be in there tomorrow in the day game, and then we'll go home."

"It was a little sore last night," Howard said. "When I show up, the lineup is made up and that's what Charlie Manuel feels like he's got to go with that day."

Howard was benched for two days over the weekend in Los Angeles to rest his knee and to try to correct some mechanical flaws in his swing.

"The breaks help," Howard explained. "I had two days off in Los Angeles, and usually after an off-day, it feels better. It's definitely something that's beneficial, I think."

The knee has been a problem for Howard and he says he will deal with it as best he can.

George Von Benko is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.