HOUSTON - On the afternoon of April 17, in a Businessperson's Special against the Astros at Citizens Bank Park, Phillies righthander Brett Myers pitched seven strong innings.

He gave up only five hits and one run. He struck out eight. He improved his record for the young season to 2-1 with a 3.96 earned run average. The decision to move him back into the starting rotation appeared to be working out nicely.

Myers hasn't won a game since.

In six subsequent starts, he's 0-4 with two no-decisions. And it's not as if he's been pitching in bad luck. His ERA in those games: 7.08.

Myers will try, try again to regain his form tonight against the last team he beat. It won't be easy. Back then, Houston was 6-10 and in last place of the NL Central. Since then, the Astros have gotten hot. Going into play last night, the Astros were 14-6 in May, tied with Atlanta for the best record in the majors during the month.

In his last start, Monday night at Washington, he seemed to take a tentative step forward. He gave up three runs in six innings . . . and two of them came on a bloop double by Lastings Milledge. He also allowed eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Charlie Manuel was somewhat encouraged by that effort, but isn't close to being ready to declare that Myers is back just yet.

"We'll just have to wait and see," the manager said. "We need some good starts from him. We need some good starts from everybody."

Manuel has a point. Three Phillies starters (Myers, Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick) have an ERA above 5.00.

"They weren't exactly smoking the ball on him his last time out," he continued. "He might have pitched better than his numbers, really."

What's it Werth?

Outfielder Jayson Werth, who had to leave Thursday night's game with a strained right oblique, said last night he felt better than he expected.

Outfielder Jayson Werth, who had to leave Thursday night's game with a strained right oblique, said last night he felt better than he expected.

Charlie Manuel said before last night's 4-3 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park that Werth couldn't swing a bat or throw. but was available as a pinch-runner.

After the game, though, the Phillies placed Werth on the disabled list.

To take his place on the roster, outfielder T.J. Bohn was recalled from Triple A Lehigh Valley. He is expected to join the team in time for tonight's game.

Phillers

Brad Lidge made his first appearance against the Astros, the team with which he spent his entire career before being traded to the Phillies, Thursday night.

Brad Lidge made his first appearance against the Astros, the team with which he spent his entire career before being traded to the Phillies, Thursday night.

Lance Berkman, one of baseball's hottest hitters, came to the plate with two outs in the ninth, representing the tying run. Lidge got him to fly out to end the game. Afterward, Berkman sent Lidge a text message: "I hate you," it said jokingly . . .

Former Phillies lefthander Dennis Cook, who lives in Austin, brought his family to last night's game and visited with acquaintances behind the batting cage. *