MIAMI -- Pitching expectations for the Philadelphia Phillies are pretty high, which is why Vance Worley found himself heading back to the minors after he threw seven shutout innings Monday night.
Worley helped beat the Florida Marlins 1-0. But the Phillies have no room in their rotation for the right-hander over the next 10 days, so after the game he was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.The move was made because the Phillies have an off day Thursday. Plans are for Worley to make one start in the minors and rejoin the Phillies after the All-Star break."We want him to keep pitching," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "This way he'll take his normal start Saturday."Said Worley before learning of the move: "Whatever they need me to do, that's what I'm going to do."Worley (4-1) allowed only two hits -- both singles -- and walked two while lowering his ERA to 2.21 in 10 games this season. His ERA is 0.69 in four starts since he was recalled from Lehigh Valley in mid-June."He's aggressive," manager Charlie Manuel. "He stays focused, keeps a level head, doesn't panic. I've seen him get hit a couple of times, and he handled it pretty good."But on a staff that includes three All-Stars, the Phillies can afford to be without Worley until late next week. He's expected to start during the Mets series July 15-17.Antonio Bastardo pitched a hitless ninth for his fifth save in as many chances to complete a two-hitter for the Phillies, who lead the majors with 13 shutouts. They seem to pitch especially well in Miami, where they've won 20 of their past 24 games thanks to an ERA of 2.36.Michael Martinez, playing for an injured Shane Victorino, earned his fifth RBI of the year with a single to drive home the only run. A sliding Domonic Brown barely beat the throw home, although a TV replay appeared to show he was tagged out before touching the plate."That's where maybe we need replays," Florida manager Jack McKeon said.By the Marlins' tabulation, there were two blown rulings on the bases, a pair of unwarranted ejections and a bunch of dubious ball-strike calls."The umpires didn't blow the game," McKeon said, "even though they missed quite a few plays."He contended the umps were too hasty with the ejections."We all make mistakes, and we all boot them," McKeon said. "But to run guys out of the game ... it used to be you fined the guy $100. Now they're all macho and going to throw you out if you look at them."Third baseman Emilio Bonifacio was tossed for throwing his helmet after being called out on a play at first base in the fifth inning. Buck was thrown out when he protested after Brown walked on a 3-2 pitch in the ninth.Buck and McKeon said plate umpire Kerwin Danley's strike zone was inconsistent all night."It made a difference in the game," Buck said, who added the disputed ball-strike calls came at pivotal moments. "Pretty big at-bats, runners on and stuff. I just didn't agree."The Marlins arrived home at 5 a.m. after a nine-game trip, and their batters looked weary. Their last hit came in the third inning, and Florida lost for the 15th time in its past 16 games decided by one run.Ricky Nolasco (5-5) blanked the Phillies until the seventh. Brown led off the inning with an infield hit, advanced on a walk to Brian Schneider and scored on Martinez's single despite a strong throw home by center fielder Bryan Petersen."I thought I got in there under the tag," Brown said. "But it was a very close play."Martinez started in center for Victorino, who wore a protective sleeve on his right hand to protect a swollen thumb he injured Sunday. He said he hopes to play Tuesday.
Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez was grinning after he helped retire Worley on a dazzling 6-4-3 putout in the third. When Ramirez dove for a grounder, the ball caromed off his glove. Omar Infante snared it barehanded and threw for the out. ... Florida slugger Mike Stanton has gone 75 at-bats without a homer. ... Worley improved to 4-0 in nine career night games.