PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick had nowhere to go but up on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

Kendrick suffered through one of the Phillies' worst starts in recent memory last week in Arizona, where he allowed 11 hits and seven runs in just three innings in a 9-5 loss to the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. But Kendrick allowed five hits, three runs (two earned runs), one walk and matched a career high with seven strikeouts in Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Kendrick had to work through some jams early, but he minimized the damage.

"You never want to have games like that," Kendrick said of his previous start. "Those happen to everybody, but I was excited to get back out there as soon as possible. I was excited to pitch at home. I felt pretty good today. I just wanted to give us a chance to win. That's all I can do."

Thome trying to get back issues under control

PHILADELPHIA -- Jim Thome woke up Sunday morning feeling the same as Saturday night.

His back is still bothering him.

Thome left Saturday's game against the Chicago Cubs because of lower back tightness. Thome has a history of back problems, so it always had been a possibility he might injure it while playing first base.

"It's about the same," Thome said before Sunday's game. "It's no worse, but it's about the same as yesterday."

Thome is receiving back treatment, but said he has no feeling if he might be placed on the 15-day disabled list. Thome said he did not know if he would be available to pinch-hit on Sunday.

"I've dealt with it before," Thome said. "Typically, it doesn't get any worse. I think the main thing is get aggressive with the treatment and hope it clears out of there as quickly as it can."

Ruiz feeling fine after taking foul off knee

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz seemed fine on Sunday morning at Citizens Bank Park.

Ruiz took a foul ball off his left knee in the sixth inning of Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. He remained in the game, hitting a home run in the bottom of the inning.

Ruiz often does not play in day games following night games, so Sunday provided him a break. Nonetheless, Ruiz said he felt fine.

Worth noting

Carlos Ruiz hosted the Philadelphia Futures' "Get in the Game" bowling and billiards tournament Sunday night at North Bowl in Philadelphia. Over the last 12 years, the event has raised more than $1.4 million and has provided support for the city's public school students who want to attend college.