Carlos Zambrano struck out six over seven scoreless inning for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.
Big Z permitted five hits and walked one. The veteran righty now holds a 0.95 ERA over five starts in the minors and could be added to the Phillies' rotation this weekend. Jonathan Pettibone would lose his rotation spot is Zambrano is called up.
Phillies activated C Carlos Ruiz from the 15-day disabled list.
Ruiz was originally slated to return on Friday, but apparently two rehab games was enough to convince the Phillies that he's ready. Out since May 19 due to a right hamstring strain, the veteran backstop returns to a .235/.286/.275 batting line in 16 games this season.
Ryan Howard went 3-for-3 and hit his eighth homer in the Phillies' 5-4 victory over the Nationals on Monday.
Howard didn't get to play hero in the ninth, though; manager Charlie Manuel took him out for a pinch-runner in the eighth. With two runners on, Steve Lerud went on to strike out in Howard's place in the ninth. However, Domonic Brown followed that with a game-winning single. Howard has seven hits in his last three games, and he's batting .346 in 52 at-bats for the month. Still, it's power that everyone wants to see from him, and tonight's homer was his first since May 29 and just his second since May 7.
John Lannan yielded two runs in five innings versus the Nationals in his return to the Phillies rotation Monday.
That's the prototypical Lannan start. He was in line for the victory when he left tonight, but Jonathan Papelbon blew the save in the ninth. Of course, that's part of Lannan's problem; that he doesn't pitch more than five or six innings gives his bullpen more opportunities to blow leads.
Jonathan Papelbon took his first blown save of the year when he gave up a solo homer to the Nationals' Chad Tracy on Monday.
Papelbon was a perfect 13-for-13 this season before missing inside to Tracy tonight. It wasn't much more than a 340-foot flyball, but it was well placed down the line at Citizens Bank. Papelbon ended up getting the win anyway after the Phillies scored in the bottom of the ninth.