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PHILLIES MEET WITH LIDGE TO SORT HIS ROLE

WASHINGTON - Brad Lidge and manager Charlie Manuel had a meeting to discuss the struggling closer's role with the Phillies.

Lidge and Manuel spoke after Wednesday's game against Washington. On Thursday, the manager wouldn't say if or when Lidge will get his job back.

Lidge converted all 48 of his save chances last season, including the postseason, to help the Phillies win the World Series. This season, he has 10 blown saves in 38 opportunities.

"I see him as a closer," said Manuel, who didn't promise a specific role with 24 games left in the regular season.

ROCKIES: RHP Jose Contreras strained his right quadriceps while trying to beat out a grounder against Cincinnati. He is day to day.

ROYALS: RHP Gil Meche is probably done for the year with a shoulder problem, and fellow RHP Brian Bannister is flying to New York for a second opinion on his shoulder, the team said.

RICKEY AWARD: Angels OF Torii Hunter was named winner of the Branch Rickey Award in recognition of his work with kids in the community. Created in 1991, the Branch Rickey Award honors individuals in baseball who contribute to their communities and are strong role models.

BANNED FOR LIFE: Craig Coakley, who disrupted a Mets game by jumping onto Citi Field naked except for a stuffed monkey tied around his waist, has been banned from the ballpark for life. He must pay a $1,000 fine and $2,000 in civil penalties to the Mets.

WORLD CUP: Drimo Chavez hit a grand slam in the 11th and Venezuela beat the defending champion United States 13-9 in Regensburg, Germany.

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