PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had a simple message for his players as they left the clubhouse Friday night after their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks was rained out.
"Stay hot," he said.
After sweeping its first series of the season, the Phillies will have to wait an extra day to play. The opener of their series with the Diamondbacks was postponed due to a steady rain and was called after a two-hour delay before the first scheduled pitch.
It will be made up on Saturday as a part of a twinight doubleheader, beginning at 5:05 p.m.
The washout put the Phillies on hold in one of their best streaks of the season. Philadelphia has won six of seven, including a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants. The Phillies are 27-27, hitting the .500 mark for the first time since April 16.
"We were prepared to play," Manuel said. "We wanted to play. We want to keep the momentum going. We just have to wait another day."
Manuel was eager to see how Padilla responded in his first start since being skipped in the rotation because of a mild back strain. The right-hander has been shaky after missing most of spring training with triceps tendinitis in his right elbow.
"We definitely need him in the rotation," Manuel said. "I think he's been a little leery of letting it go sometimes. I don't know if it's because of the (elbow injury) or what, but we got to get him going.
"He's been getting better in his last couple of starts. His command of the fastball, especially in his last start, was better and that's a good sign."
Padilla is 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his last two starts, including his lone win, a 4-3 decision against Cincinnati.
The postponement was advantageous for the Phillies, as the worn-out bullpen got a much-needed day of rest. Right-hander Ryan Madson (2-2, 4.03) wasn't available Friday because of his work in the San Francisco series. He is third in the NL in relief innings with 29.
The status of closer Billy Wagner (1-0, 2.25 ERA) was also in question. Wagner pitched in all three games against the Giants, including the finale when he nailed down his team-high 12th save.
Arizona has lost five of its last seven, including dropping two of three to the New York Mets. The Diamondbacks are 30-24, three games back of San Diego in the NL West.
"We'll just go in the same order tomorrow (with the pitchers)," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "It's not a big deal."
The Diamondbacks, especially Vazquez, might have preferred to play the game despite a long rain delay. The last time Vazquez had to wait out a rain delay (a 3-hour, 14-minute stoppage in Detroit on May 22), he pitched a five-hit shutout.