The Philadelphia Phillies are garnering more interest for their actions off the field than on it as of late - and for good reason. The National League East cellar-dwelling Phillies have dropped seven of nine entering the opener of their three-game series versus the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. Ryan Howard, who is the 2006 NL MVP, was benched in favor of Darin Ruf for the second straight contest Thursday afternoon as the Phillies posted a 2-1 win to salvage the finale of their four-game series with San Francisco.Manager Ryne Sandberg publicly acknowledged that he is considering a platoon at first base, although Howard could be released at season's end if he can't be moved in a trade. Arizona isn't setting the world on fire either as it lost two of three to Detroit and resides comfortably back in the pack in the NL West. Gerardo Parra collected three hits in Wednesday's 11-5 setback to the Tigers, but is 4-for-12 versus Friday starter Kyle Kendrick.TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, CSN PhiladelphiaPITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks LH Wade Miley (6-6, 4.16 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Kyle Kendrick (4-10, 4.87)Miley won his third straight start after allowing three runs on seven hits in as many innings en route to a 9-3 triumph over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. The 27-year-old has relished life on the road, posting a 4-1 mark with a 2.85 ERA while limiting the opposition to a .215 batting average. Miley is 1-0 in two appearances versus Philadelphia, but settled for a no-decision despite making a quality start in the last meeting.While Miley's heating up, Kendrick has dropped two straight outings while permitting 18 runs in 16 2/3 innings in his last three starts. The 29-year-old has struggled mightily versus the Diamondbacks, posting an 0-2 career mark with a 5.45 ERA while allowing the club to bat .323 against him. Citizens Bank Park hasn't provided a safe haven for Kendrick, who owns a 2-5 mark at home. WALK-OFFS1. Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley, who had the go-ahead RBI single in the fifth Thursday, has recorded multiple hits in three of his last four contests.2. Arizona 3B Martin Prado is 4-for-11 in his last three games and 9-for-23 in his career versus Kendrick.3. Phillies OF Marlon Byrd, the subject of trade talks, is 10-for-27 on his six-game hitting streak.PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 4