Ryan Howard out of Phillies' lineup

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard wasn't in the starting lineup for Friday night's game against the Cardinals because of a left ankle injury.

It was the fourth time in the last nine days Howard has not been in the lineup. He did drive in the winning run in 10th inning of Thursday's 2-1 nightcap win over Florida as a pinch hitter, breaking an 0-for-16 skid.

Howard said before Friday's game that the injury doesn't affect his swing and he could play if he had to but that the ankle is "still sore."

He might get a cortisone shot but is waiting until it gets closer to postseason.

The Phillies began Friday night's game with a magic number of two to clinch their fifth straight NL East title.