ST. LOUIS - The Phillies and

Kyle Lohse

agree on one thing:

The Phils did try to re-sign the righthander after last season.

Lohse, who will pitch against his former teammates for the St. Louis Cardinals today, confirmed yesterday that he received a three-year offer in the neighborhood of $21 million shortly after last season ended.

"It went away early," Lohse said. "It was gone less than a month into the off-season. It's not like we had extended talks - one time, that was it."

Phillies assistant general manager

Ruben Amaro Jr.

confirmed that the offer was made early in the off-season, but he said the lines of communication with Lohse and agent

Scott Boras

remained open into the new year.

"They said no," said Amaro, referring to the offer that was made early in the off-season. "We continued to have discussions. We tried to re-engage them right into January.

"Their expectations were different from ours. We ended up signing

[Pedro] Feliz

and

[Geoff] Jenkins

, and by that time your payroll at some point runs out and you have to move on."

Lohse said he received no other offers over the winter. The 29-year-old righthander eventually signed a one-year contract worth $4.25 million with the Cardinals after spring training began.

He has pitched well, going 7-2 with a 3.92 ERA in 14 starts.

Lohse joined the Phillies in a July 30 trade with Cincinnati and went 3-0 with a 4.72 ERA in 13 games, 11 of which were starts. For the season, he was 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA and logged 1922/3 innings. He was expecting a bigger market for his services over the winter, but said he had no regrets about not taking the Phils' offer.

"I'm here in St. Louis and it's a good place to be," he said.

Lohse smiled wryly when asked why he believed he didn't get more suitors over the winter, but he did not use the word

collusion

.

"I'm not accusing anyone of anything," he said. "It was just weird."

Lohse hopes for better results when he goes back on the market this winter.

Looking back at 2007, Lohse said he enjoyed his time with the Phillies.

"How couldn't I?" he said. "We had a great run. I loved the chemistry of that team. Every day was a playoff atmosphere."

Lohse's time in Philadelphia ended on a down note. He gave up a grand slam to Colorado's

Kaz Matsui

in Game 2 of the National League division series after entering the game with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and the Phillies leading, 3-2. The Phils lost that game, 10-5, en route to being swept.

"That's baseball," Lohse said. "You can't be afraid to go out and take a chance. I hadn't been in that role all year. I wanted to do whatever I could to help us win. Unfortunately, I missed my spot by six or eight inches."

Lohse said facing the Phillies tonight would be a challenge. The Phils rank second in the National League in runs and slugging percentage.

"There's not anyone you can look at and say is an easy out," Lohse said.

Flash watch

Manager

Charlie Manuel

said he would monitor reliever

Tom Gordon's

workload more closely.

"I'm not concerned with his stuff or his arm," Manuel said of the 40-year-old Gordon. "But I want to keep him strong."

Gordon, who has appeared in 29 games, struggled Wednesday night in Florida. He faced five batters, walked two and allowed two hits, including a game-deciding grand slam to

Dan Uggla

.

Gordon threw in the bullpen yesterday. Manuel said

Ryan Madson

and

Chad Durbin

would see more setup work as he watches Gordon's workload.

Dice-K does Allentown

Boston Red Sox righthander

Daisuke Matsuzaka

will make a minor-league rehabilitation start Monday night against the Phillies' triple-A Lehigh Valley club in Allentown.

While Matsuzaka pitches at Coca-Cola Park, his big-league teammates will be in Philadelphia for the first of three games against the Phillies.

Outta here

The Phils released righthander

Zack

Segovia

, who spent time in the majors last season. Segovia was a second-round pick in 2002, but he was plagued by arm trouble. He had been pitching at single-A Clearwater.

Phillies Notes: Three-Peat

For the seventh time in club history, the Phillies hit back-to-back-to-back home runs last night. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell put on the power display in the first inning in St. Louis. The others:

Sept. 30, 1977,

vs. Montreal, second inning, Greg Luzinski, Richie Hebner, Garry Maddox.

Aug. 17, 1985,

vs. Chicago, seventh inning. Juan Samuel, Glenn Wilson, Mike Schmidt.

July 26, 1987,

vs. Atlanta, eighth inning. Milt Thompson, Von Hayes, Schmidt.

April 28, 1999,

vs. Cincinnati, first inning. Scott Rolen, Rico Brogna, Ron Gant.

May 4, 2004,

vs. St. Louis, fifth inning, Bobby Abreu, Jim Thome, Burrell.

May 18, 2004,

vs. Los Angeles, fourth inning, Abreu, Burrell, Thome.