PHOENIX - Now that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is out of the starting lineup for the immediate future with a sore left quadriceps, it seems imperative that the Phillies receive quality pitching.

That brings us to righthander Adam Eaton.

He will start tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, and so far this season, Eaton is 3-2 with an 8.18 ERA. He has allowed fewer than four runs in just one of his six starts.

Opponents have hit .315 against him, including .355 by righthanders.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee has been working with Eaton on changing his mechanics.

"It's a matter of trying to make some adjustments," Dubee said. "Giving himself more time over the rubber, and usually he's late separating his hands, and that's been causing his arm to drag. He's not catching up and not getting out in front. He's generally a little better out of the windup, but in the stretch, his hands stay together way too long. We're trying to chip away at that there.

"We've got to get him going on the right track. He needs to find that rhythm and that timing."

Gordon improving. The Phillies said closer Tom Gordon, who had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Thursday in Philadelphia, feels much better. Gordon is on the disabled list with inflammation in the shoulder.

At the request of team physician Michael Ciccotti, Gordon will undergo an MRI exam today.

Madson update. Righthander Ryan Madson, who was placed on the disabled list Saturday with a strained abdominal muscle, had an MRI exam yesterday. The scan showed no tear or stress fracture, the Phillies said.

The Phillies said Madson could begin throwing when the team returns to Citizens Bank Park on Friday to play the Chicago Cubs.

Running men. The Phillies entered last night's game ranked second in the majors with 30 stolen bases. Only the New York Mets had stolen more (31).

Shane Victorino was second in the National League with 13 steals. Jimmy Rollins was tied for fifth with eight.

Contact staff writer Todd Zolecki

at 215-854-4874 or tzolecki@phillynews.com.

Read his blog at http://go.philly.com/zozone.