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High & Inside: NL Notes

Confusion on the bench in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday may rebound to the Phillies' benefit.

Phillies catch a break

Confusion on the bench in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday may rebound to the Phillies' benefit.

Houston ace Roy Oswalt was struggling with a bad hip against Texas and said he told the coaches after the sixth inning that he didn't think he could pitch any longer.

Somehow, he was sent out for the seventh anyway and gave up two hits before he signaled for the medical staff and left the game.

"It was just a misunderstanding," Houston manager Cecil Cooper told the Associated Press, adding that he planned to meet with Oswalt last night. "We just want to make sure we're all on the right page."

Oswalt said he's unsure about making his next scheduled start, which would be Thursday against the Phillies.

"In two or three days, I'll throw a little bit and see how it feels," Oswalt said. "I don't know [about the next start]. All I know is today I can't pitch."

Zito still zero in wins

Usually it's an honor to be mentioned in the same breath with a Hall of Famer. Usually.

Bary Zito (0-8) is the first Giants pitcher to open a season with eight losses since Jesse Burkett in 1890.

But Burkett had hit .309 in 109 games as an outfielder, and the Cleveland Spiders moved him to the outfield full time the next year, where he hit .300 or better for 10 straight seasons beginning in 1893. He hit .338 for his career, including .400 twice, won three batting titles, and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.

So, maybe Zito is in the wrong position.

Stan the Man

St. Louis dedicated Stan Musial Drive, renaming the street in front of Busch Stadium in honor of the Cardinals' greatest player. Musial, 87, played his entire 22-year career in St. Louis while batting .331 with 3,630 hits. Musial thanked the team's owners and "the greatest fans around."

Battle of the best

Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez won the battle of ERA leaders when the Reds beat the Cleveland Indians and Cliff Lee, 6-4. It was just the third matchup ever of league ERA leaders. The Yankees beat the Mets, 8-4, on June 26, 1998, when Hideki Irabu did not get a decision and Al Leiter took the loss. Boston's Derek Lowe defeated Atlanta's Tom Glavine, 6-1, on June 16, 2002.

Volquez is 7-1 with a glittering 1.33 ERA. Lee is 6-1 and has a 1.37 ERA after giving up five earned runs yesterday.

Rookie roughed up

Milwaukee's Mark DiFelice made his major-league debut in the fifth inning and gave up a double to the first batter he faced, Boston's Dustin Pedroia. David Ortiz followed by homering into the Brewers' bullpen to make it 8-4 and the Red Sox won, 11-7.

At 31, DeFelice became the third-oldest player in team history to make his debut. The righthander is a graduate of Haverford High.