PHILADELPHIA — For Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, eight was enough to match another milestone.
With a two-run homer in the first inning Monday, Howard made it eight games played this postseason and eight games with an RBI. That extended his record for a single postseason and matched Lou Gehrig's overall major-league record, which spanned the 1928 and 1932 World Series.
Two others had seven-game streaks over multiple postseasons, Pittsburgh's Clyde Barnhart (1925-27) and the Yankees' Bill Skowron (1958-60).
"Ryan has been swinging real good, of course," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's seeing the ball good, he looks real relaxed at the plate, and from a mechanics standpoint, he's loading up good and he's staying on the ball. When he's staying on the ball, he makes more consistent contact. He's hitting real good right now."
Howard earned a few other notations, tying Mike Schmidt for most postseason homers in Phillies history with six and extending his team postseason RBI record to 24 (in 25 games).
PITCHING IN: Dodgers manager Joe Torre wouldn't commit pregame to a Game 5 starter, saying it would be either RHP Vicente Padilla or LHP Clayton Kershaw. … Torre also said RHP Hiroki Kuroda felt fine after his disappointing performance in Game 3 on Sunday, his first appearance in 20 days due to a neck injury: "Absolutely no physical problem."
TAKE THAT: Asked about keeping his lineup stagnant, Manuel — who used 68 different combinations (not counting pitchers); the Rays, in contrast, used 123 — took a don't-fix-what-ain't-broke approach, with a zinger.
"I think that's our best lineup," he said. "And I think we led the league in runs scored. I don't think our lineup is stagnant by no means. Go ask Kuroda."
MISCELLANY: First-pitch temperature was 48. … How thorough are the Yankees? They have 10 scouts in Philadelphia, four assigned to each team and two doing an overview. … Jim Thome is enjoying being in the postseason with the Dodgers but said he wants to go back to the AL and DH. … Former Phillie Mickey Morandini threw out the ceremonial first pitch.