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05/05/07 10:17 PM ET

Notes: Madson goes on 15-day DL

Reliever shelved with strained left oblique muscle

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Madson couldn't take it any more.

The reliever had been pitching with discomfort in his left oblique muscle since Spring Training, but continued because the pain didn't affect his throwing motion or his pitches' movement. But when the pain accelerated warming up before Thursday's outing against the Giants, he knew a trip to the disabled list was in his future.

"It's just gotten worse and worse," Madson said. "Two nights ago was the first time it affected the way I threw. I knew I might need to stop before I hurt my arm. When my landing leg hits the ground, it feels like a pulled muscle."

The right-hander was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday and will return to Philadelphia on Sunday and have tests performed on Monday. With Madson out of action, right-hander Clay Condrey had his contract purchased from Triple-A Ottawa. Condrey opened the season with Philadelphia and posted a 2.25 ERA in three games.

Condrey will join a bullpen of Brett Myers, Antonio Alfonseca, Geoff Geary, Francisco Rosario, Fabio Castro and Yoel Hernandez.

Madson is the second reliever to head to the disabled list in as many days. Closer Tom Gordon (right rotator cuff inflammation) went down on Friday.

Madson was expected to see the bulk of the setup situations, with Myers anointed the closer, but manager Charlie Manuel will now use Geary and Alfonseca, respectively.

Madson allowed one run on two hits and two walks on Thursday night, ending an 8 2/3-inning scoreless streak. He opened the season by allowing five runs in his first five innings and surrendered game-winning, extra-inning homers in each of the season's first two losses to the Braves. He's 0-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 12 games, spanning 17 1/3 innings.

"The way I pitched other night, I can't go out there and pitch like that and affect the outcome of the game because I'm trying to pitch through something," Madson said. "I can't hurt the team. I've got to get it fixed."

Madson hopes for a good result on Monday, followed perhaps by a few innings in Minor League games, so he can be ready to pitch for the Phillies on the first day he's eligible.

Sore and slumping: Ryan Howard said that his left quadriceps muscle continues to be "tight," so Manuel on Saturday opted to give his slumping first baseman the day off against lefty Noah Lowry.

"You want to be out there," Howard said. "But if rest is going to make it better, that's what I've got to do."

There's more to it than that. Howard's .200 average this season plummets to .135 against southpaws, and he's fanned 21 times in 37 at-bats (56 percent). He's also in the middle of a 1-for-14 skid, though the hit was a three-run homer against the Braves.

"He'll be in there [on Sunday]," Manuel said. "I thought today was the right time to get him out of there."

Rollins the broadcaster: As part of FOX's televised broadcast, one player from each team announces the starting lineup. Resident personality Jimmy Rollins did the honors for the Phillies on Sunday.

Rollins came up with nicknames for each of the starters, including Aaron "I slammed my face into a wall" Rowand, "Multimillion-dollar man" Chase Utley, "The guy with two left feet" Pat Burrell, Abraham "Preacher Man" Nunez and Rod "Cinco de Mayo" Barajas.

Minor transactions: Infielder Bradley Key, one of the players acquired from the Reds for outfielder Jeff Conine, has been released. ... Infielder Michael Garciaparra, Nomar's younger brother, was removed from Double-A Reading's temporary inactive list and assigned to Class A Clearwater. ... J.D. Durbin joined Triple-A Ottawa on Saturday.

Trivia: Here's another reminder of Jamie Moyer's longevity. The venerable left-hander has surrendered five of Barry Bonds' 744 career home runs, including No. 11, on Aug. 11, 1986. The others: No. 28 (June 27, 1987), 65 (Sept. 23, 1988), and 120-121 (May 21, 1991).

Coming up: Cole Hamels has won three of his last four starts, including a gritty effort in Atlanta in his previous outing, in which he pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on nine hits while striking out six. He has reached the sixth inning in every start, and has struck out 43 hitters in 40 2/3 innings. On Sunday at 8:05 p.m. ET, in his first career start against San Francisco, Hamels will face the Giants organization's top pitching prospect, right-hander Tim Lincecum.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.