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08/07/11 4:15 PM ET

Polanco returns to Philly for MRI on left hip

Trip to disabled list possible; availability vs. Dodgers in question

SAN FRANCISCO -- Placido Polanco left AT&T Park long before Sunday's series finale against the Giants.

He had a flight to catch.

Polanco returned to Philadelphia for an MRI exam scheduled for Monday. Polanco has soreness in his left hip, a problem he said Saturday he has had for a month, but has not received treatment for.

The Phillies' third baseman could land back on the disabled list after being activated July 30 following lower back inflammation. At the very least, Polanco seems unlikely to play in the next three games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Polanco said the injury is unrelated to Giants catcher Eli Whiteside trying to tackle him in Friday's bench-clearing scuffle. The Phillies also said the injury is unrelated to his back problems.

Phils' lead more impressive when analyzed

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Phillies woke up Sunday morning with a 9 1/2 game lead over the Braves in the National League East, despite Atlanta having the second-best record in the NL.

That seems even more impressive when the leads for every other division leader in baseball are combined:

• American League East: no games (tie for first).
• AL Central: four games.
• AL West: one game.
• NL Central: three games.
• NL West: a half-game.

That puts the other division leaders a combined 8 1/2 games ahead of the second-place teams across the league.

"The Phillies are as good as any team I've seen," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said Sunday in New York. "I'd put them up against any of those Yankees clubs of the late '90s and early 2000s. That club has got it going on and they are flat out playing like it, day in and day out."

Contreras makes 65 throws in Clearwater

SAN FRANCISCO -- Phillies right-hander Jose Contreras made 65 throws from 60 feet Saturday in Clearwater, Fla.

The Phillies said it went well.

Contreras has been on the disabled list since June 20 because of a right elbow injury. The Phillies have no timetable for his return.

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