06/21/12 12:47 AM ET
Phillies on a scoring run since April
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
They rank fourth overall in that span, scoring 221 runs.
Breaking down the numbers a little further, the Phillies are second in the NL with 4.80 runs per game. Only the Rockies (4.95) have averaged more. The Phillies are third in the big leagues in batting (.276); fifth in on-base percentage (.332) and extra-base hits (151); and seventh in slugging percentage (.432) and OPS (.764).
The Phillies have not been as proficient with runners in scoring position, batting just .258 to rank 12th in baseball.
But that is not why the Phillies have been struggling. They rank 25th overall with a 4.42 team ERA.
Phillies recall left-hander Valdes
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies recalled left-hander Raul Valdes from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday.
Valdes replaces catcher Erik Kratz, whom the Phillies optioned to Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.
Valdes went 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 11 appearances in his first stint with the Phillies this season. The Phillies optioned him to Triple-A on June 8 when they promoted rookie right-hander B.J. Rosenberg because right-handers Chad Qualls and Michael Schwimer were struggling.
Valdes has 62 big league appearances over three seasons with the Mets, Cardinals, Yankees and Phillies, making him the fourth-most experienced reliever in the bullpen behind Qualls (567 appearances), Jonathan Papelbon (423) and Antonio Bastardo (121).
Schwimer (24), Joe Savery (20) and Jake Diekman (13) are rookies.
"We could use a veteran arm," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "The guys we've got, they're definitely going to be good pitchers. They've got talent. There's going to be some growing pains. There's going to be some inconsistencies. That's kind of natural until they get to the place where they can have command and use the outer- and inner-half of the plate."
Manuel said he believes Valdes can give the Phillies multiple innings and also pitch in high-leverage situations.
"When we sent him down, we didn't plan on him staying there very long," Manuel said.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs in a rehab assignment Wednesday with Class A Clearwater. He played eight innings at second base.
The Minnesota Twins have recovered Jim Thome's home run ball that he hit into the flower bed in right field at Target Field last Thursday.
Cole Hamels earned his 10th win on Tuesday, giving him 10 or more wins in each of the last six seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the three most-recent pitchers to win 10 or more games in six consecutive seasons are in the Hall of Fame: Steve Carlton (13 straight seasons, 1972-84), Robin Roberts (12, '49-'60) and Grover Cleveland Alexander (seven, '11-'17).
Hamels needed just 14 games to earn his 10th win, the second-fastest any Phillies pitcher has needed to reach 10 wins since 1920. Carlton did it in 13 games in 1980. Three others did it in 14 games: Roberts (1953), Dick Ruthven (1978) and Paul Byrd (1999).
Fans can bid until 1 p.m. Thursday to have lunch with Shane Victorino at the MLB Fan Cave later this season. Fans can bid at CharityBuzz.com.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.