HOUSTON -- Carlos Ruiz was back in the starting lineup on Sunday, hitting fifth in the batting order.
The Phillies' catcher, who returned from the disabled list on Sept. 7 after dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, has not started consecutive games behind the plate since his return.
Ruiz did appear in the last three games, two of which were in pinch-hit roles.
"We want to get him in the there and see how he does with it," said manager Charlie Manuel, who added that he wasn't ready to put Ruiz back in every day but is eager to have his bat in the lineup on a regular basis again.
Ruiz has set career highs this season in home runs (14), RBIs (60), runs (50) and extra-base hits (180). He is seven hits shy of tying his career high of 116 set last season.
Minute Maid Park hasn't been friendly to Phils
HOUSTON -- Minute Maid Park isn't exactly the ideal place the Phillies want to spend much time at while chasing a playoff spot.
All time, the Phils are 18-26 at the Astros' home, including dropping two of the first three games of this series.
Philadelphia's .409 winning percentage at Minute Maid is the team's third lowest at any of the current National League parks (minimum 10 games). They have only fared poorer at AT&T Park (18-27) and PNC Park (14-24).
"They play us tough here," manager Charlie Manuel said. "They show up and they play."
The Phils have been swept four times at Minute Maid Park (2002, '04, '05 and '09).
Since Aug. 23, the Phillies are tied with Milwaukee for the best record among NL clubs at 16-6.
The Phils have 16 games remaining, and 10 of them will be on the road, where they are 35-36 this season. They have not been above .500 on the road since June 17 (19-18). In 22 road series this season, the Phils are 12-8-2, including a 4-0-1 mark over the last five.
Philadelphia is 48-34 when scoring first and 57-22 when scoring more than three runs.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.