IN THE SAME inning that saw Cole Hamels' day end, the Phils also cut the Cleveland Indians' lead to 5-3, thanks to a two-out, two-run double from Jimmy Rollins.

Despite Hamels' lackluster effort, the game was well within reach. But in the next four innings, four different relievers entered and matched Hamels in allowing five runs.

A middle of the bullpen tabbed as "mediocre" by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. less than a week ago was just plain bad. The bad news: There's a chance the relief corps could get worse in the coming days.

Veteran setup man Mike Adams suffered a "small setback" in his battle with back spasms and said he might ask for an MRI before the Phils return to the field tomorrow. The next 2 days could be crucial in Adams' hopes to avoid landing on the disabled list. Adams had an anti-inflammatory shot Tuesday.

"I don't make those decisions," Adams said of whether a DL stint could be on the horizon. "I don't know the true timetable on what's going on right now. I feel better than I did yesterday. Yesterday, I felt horrible. [Today], hopefully I'll come in and feel a little bit better and keep progressing day by day. Hopefully, I can feel close to 100 percent to where I can go out there."

Adams said he first felt the back spasms during batting practice prior to Sunday's game in Phoenix. Following a day off in the Phillies schedule on Monday, Adams tried to play catch prior to Tuesday's game at Citizens Bank Park and suffered "a small setback."

"Just throwing from about 60 feet," Adams said. "And it grabbed me there."

If Adams' injury warrants a trip to the disabled list, the move would be retroactive to May 11, the day after his last appearance. That would make him eligible to return on May 26, meaning he would miss as few as eight games.

"If I come in and don't feel like I'm progressing or so [today], I may ask to go to an MRI on Friday or [today], just so I have a better idea on what's going on and what the timetable may be about the severity of what's going on," Adams said.

Adams is 1-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 17 games. He has struck out 19 while walking six in 15 innings.

Adams has also allowed nearly as many home runs this year (three) as he did in all of 2012 (four in 52 1/3 innings).

The 34-year-old signed a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Phillies as a free agent in December.

Enter Zambrano

Although Cole Hamels threw a clunker yesterday, starting pitching hasn't been a problem for the Phillies.

If you take away Roy Halladay's ugly numbers, the remainder of the rotation has a 3.51 ERA this season. But without Halladay, you have a vacancy that needs to be addressed long-term.

With Halladay's return unknown (he had shoulder surgery yesterday), the Phils made a low-risk, high-reward signing when they inked former three-time All-Star Carlos Zambrano to a minor league contract yesterday morning.

Zambrano, who turns 32 in June, went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 35 games with the Miami Marlins last season. He spent the offseason pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League before representing Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic in March.

After watching Zambrano throw Monday in Miami, the Phils felt he was worth the small gamble.

"We're just looking to add some starting pitching depth," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "Right now, he's going to head to extended spring training, start throwing some bullpens and we'll go from there. No promises were made, but this was just an opportunity to add some starting pitching depth."

Zambrano, not unlike many players on the Phillies' current roster, was an All-Star player a half-decade ago.

In the 6-year period from 2003 to 2008, Zambrano went 91-51 with a 3.39 ERA in 193 starts with the Chicago Cubs.

He made the NL All-Star team three times and finished in the top five of the NL Cy Young Award voting three times. In 2010 with the Cubs, Zambrano had a 3.33 ERA in 36 games. But he had a 4.66 ERA in the last two seasons. And the volatile righthander brings his share of baggage, too.

Zambrano is notorious for his outbursts, including fights with teammates in the dugout, and destroying equipment when he doesn't pitch well. He has been suspended twice for such behavior.

The Phils don't seem concerned, however.

"We got a feel for his desire to come back and his sincerity about that and what kind of condition he's had to put himself in," Proefrock said. "It's a minor league deal. It's not like we're signing him to a $90 million deal like the Cubs did. You still want to make sure you get a guy that's committed and will conduct himself appropriately. As far as we're concerned that was satisfied."

Zambrano will report to Clearwater.

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