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7/12/12: Halladay goes three frames in rehab start

For the first time this season, the Phillies will have a full lineup on the field with their ace on the mound.

Seven weeks after going on the disabled list with a strained right lat, Roy Halladay returns Tuesday night, when the Phillies (40-51) and Dodgers (48-43) play the second game of a three-game series.

After throwing several bullpen sessions, Halladay needed just one three-inning rehab start with Class A Clearwater. Manager Charlie Manuel said on Monday that it would be realistic for "Doc" to pitch about six innings on Tuesday.

"I think Roy knows himself," Manuel said before Monday's 3-2 victory, Philadelphia's third straight. "He's pitched a lot of baseball. He probably knows himself a lot better than we do. He said he didn't think he needed [another rehab start], and I trust him."

The two-time Cy Young Award winner uncharacteristically struggled at times prior to his injury and went on the DL with a 4-5 record and a 3.98 ERA.

"He's human. He's tremendous," Manuel said. "Everything about him is real, but Roy is human just like everybody else. That Louisville finds you sometimes, son."

With Halladay healthy, the Phillies have their full five-man rotation for the first time in quite awhile. They struggled to a 15-27 record in Halladay's absence and have a large hill to climb.

Four of those losses came at the hands of the Dodgers, who swept a four-game series in Philadelphia in early June. Los Angeles has struggled a bit lately and has lost three straight.

"It was actually a series we could have lost a couple games in there -- I think we came from behind in one of those games," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of the four-game sweep at Philadelphia. "They get Ryan [Howard] back and they get [Chase] Utley back. Their lineup looks a lot different now than it did when we played them."

Phillies: Rollins coy on trade questions
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, whose name has popped up in trade rumors, sidestepped questions about if he would wave his trade rights if the circumstances arose. The Dodgers and Giants could both use a shortstop and the Phillies, stuck in last place in the National League East, could be sellers at the July 31 Trade Deadline.

"It's not a question to be answered," Rollins said before Monday's game, in which he hit a solo home run.

Rollins, born and raised in Northern California, has 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the Major Leagues, the last five with the same club), meaning he would have to approve any trade. He is also owed $25.7 million through the 2014 season.

• In the fourth game of his rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater on Monday, Laynce Nix went 0-for-3 with a fielding error in seven innings at first base. It was the second time he played first base during his rehab, but the first time he played seven innings in the field.

"He's getting close," Manuel said before Monday's game. "He's probably got another two or three more games to play. We'll see."

Dodgers: Billingsley placed on DL
A second MRI on Monday revealed that Chad Billingsley has right elbow inflammation. Billingsley was scratched from his start on Sunday and was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday.

Stephen Fife, who was scratched from his start with Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday, was recalled to make the start Tuesday. It will be his Major League debut.

• Juan Uribe has just one hit in his last 32 at-bats, but Mattingly said he is not giving up on his third baseman. "From the standpoint of he's here, we've got to try to keep working and keep trying to get something out of him," the skipper said. "I know it hasn't been pretty, but to give up on a guy, that is just quitting and that's not in my DNA. I just don't think that's right."

Worth noting
• Howard hit his first home run of the season on Monday night. It was an opposite-field homer to left, and it came in the fourth inning off Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi. Howard, who returned July 6 after rehabbing from offseason surgery on his left Achilles tendon, entered Monday hitless in his last 12 at-bats.

• Los Angeles ranks second in the Major Leagues with a team ERA of 3.30 and an opponent batting average of .236. Only the Nationals have better numbers in each category.

• Domonic Brown, playing for the Phillies' Triple-A Lehigh Valley, went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and two runs on Monday, his first game since straining his right knee on June 14.

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