Kris Benson

has stopped and started more than rush hour drivers on the Vine Street Expressway.

He has been just as frustrated, too.

Benson was scratched from last night's rehabilitation start at single-A Clearwater with "tightness and soreness" in his right biceps, the Phillies said. The righthander had to be shut down in spring training because of tendinitis in his right biceps and again in April because of a strained right groin.

Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies' assistant general manager, said he has been told that Benson did not have symptoms similar to what happened to him in March.

"But it's a concern enough for him not to pitch," Amaro said. "He kind of tested it this morning and didn't feel comfortable enough posting up and pitching tonight with Clearwater. . . . We'd like to have him be able to pitch consistently and be healthy, but we'll stay with him for now and see how he progresses. We need to get him back on the mound so we can evaluate him and see if he's going to be able to help us in the big leagues."

The Phillies signed Benson to a $100,000 minor-league contract Feb. 13 after he missed last season following shoulder surgery. They had hoped the nine-year veteran would be ready to pitch for them this month. It is unknown when Benson will be ready to pitch again.

Do the Phillies think Benson still can help them at some point this season?

"We don't know," Amaro said. "We're not sure."

But Amaro said it was not time to cut bait and move on, either.

"I don't think we've gotten to that point yet," he said. "But again, he's going to have to pitch for us so we can evaluate if he can help us at the big-league level."

Werth's workout

Outfielder

Jayson Werth,

on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right abdominal muscle, took 100 swings in the batting cage yesterday. He could take batting practice tomorrow. If he comes out of that OK, he could leave for a rehab assignment in the minors.

Werth can be activated as early as Saturday, but the outfielder said it might take a couple of days longer than that.

Utley is the man

Chase Utley

is the National League player of the week. He hit .391 (9 for 23) with one double, five home runs and 14 RBIs from May 26 to Sunday. He also had a .500 on-base percentage and a 1.087 slugging percentage.

Utley hit his 20th homer of the season in his 58th game Sunday - the fastest any second baseman has ever hit 20 homers in a season. Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby held the previous record; he hit his 20th homer in his 61st game in 1925.

Snelling in, Bohn out

The Phillies activated outfielder

Chris Snelling

from the disabled list and optioned outfielder

T.J. Bohn

to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Snelling had been on the DL since April 20 with left knee inflammation.

Ruiz is OK

Carlos Ruiz,

better known as "Chooch" to his coaches and teammates, said his left hand was fine. He bruised it Saturday when Marlins lefthander

Ricky Nolasco

hit him with a pitch.

"It's a little sore, but if they need me, I can play," Ruiz said.

Chris Coste started last night against the Reds, but manager Charlie Manuel said that was because he wanted to play Coste, not because Ruiz could not play. Coste entered last night hitting .378 (17 for 45) with three homers and nine RBIs in his last 14 games. Ruiz is hitting .209 (9 for 43) with five RBIs in his last 14 games.

Nice moves, Charlie

Manuel has made some successful in-game decisions lately, but he knows how quickly that can change.

"We'll find out how hot I am one of these nights when I take a huge gamble and you guys get your pens out," Manuel said. ". . . I look at this as putting a guy in a situation, and he's coming through. He's doing the hitting, or he's doing the pitching. He's coming through for you."

Minor matters

The Phillies released double-A lefthander

Shane Youman

and purchased the contract of 30-year-old righthander

Travis Minix

from Somerset in the independent Atlantic League to replace him.

Extra bases

Utley has had at least one RBI in each of his last eight games - 20 RBIs total. He is one of just 14 players in Phillies history to have an RBI in eight straight games. The franchise record is 10 straight games, held by

Pinky Whitney

(1931) and

Bobby Abreu

(2005). . . .

Shane Victorino

extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying 14 games with a single in the first. He is hitting .400 (24 for 60) with seven RBIs during the streak. . . .

Pedro Feliz

and

Chris Coste

hit back-to-back homers in the fourth.