Scott Eyre

strained his left calf nine days ago in a game against the Mets and has yet to throw off a mound. Eyre, 37, said he felt no pain while playing catch, but has yet to test the injury from a mound.

Eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday, Eyre said his DL stay would "probably end up being longer than that, but not by much. It's what you call a common-recurrence injury, so I have to wait until it's 100 percent."

He expects to make minor-league rehab appearances before rejoining the Phillies, but is not yet sure when or how many.

Eyre said he was eager to rejoin the bullpen, which has been overtaxed lately.

"These guys would never say it, but they're tired," he said. "It's getting frustrating for me to not be out there."

Birthday start for Bako

Paul Bako's first start since joining the team June 10 came on his 37th birthday. The catcher was told to expect a start either yesterday or today, and his wife and two children planned on attending the game to see him play for his 11th major-league team.

Manuel said that Carlos Ruiz was healthy, and that the team needed to give Bako an occasional start in order to keep him from getting rusty.

"I wanted to get Bako in a game," the manager said. "He's here, and he's a lefthanded hitter. I know Bako is a good defensive catcher; I've seen him for a long time. . . . If he's part of the team and I'm going to use him, it's best to make sure that he's going to play some."