Worley effective, Ruiz injured in loss to Blue Jays

Worley effective, Ruiz injured in loss to Blue Jays

Worley effective, Ruiz injured in loss to Blue Jays
TORONTO -- Looking for their first three-game winning streak of the month, the last-place Phillies came up empty when the quieted offense spoiled a solid outing by Vance Worley in a 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday.

The Phillies fell to 4-10 in June and 3-4 on their current nine-game road trip.

Even worse, the loss came at a potentially costly price, as catcher Carlos Ruiz was forced to leave the game with a strained left oblique.

"That's a big one," manager Charlie Manuel said about Ruiz, who was not available for comment. "He's a guy who has been hot, a guy who has been consistent. He did it on a swing."

Ruiz sustained the injury striking out in the sixth inning and did not come back out for the bottom half of the frame. He will not be able to play for at least a few days.

Known for his exceptional defense, Ruiz was enjoying a career year at the plate and has been one of the top offensive catchers in baseball. One of the catalysts of Philadelphia's lineup, Ruiz is batting .362 with eight homers, 35 RBIs and a 1.002 OPS.

If Ruiz were to land on the disabled list, he would join a long list of stars, including Ryan Howard and Chase Utley -- who have yet to play this season -- and ace Roy Halladay.

"That's the way it goes sometimes," Manuel said. "[It's] just kind of how things are going for us. You just have to stay in there. We have to keep going. Nobody feels sorry for you. You have to come out and play the game."

Ruiz reached base twice before exiting and had one of Philadelphia's five hits.

The absence of any sort of offense wasted a fine outing from Worley. The 24-year-old went seven innings, matching a season high, and threw more than 100 pitches for the first time in three starts since coming off the DL. He allowed three runs -- one earned -- on five hits, walking two and striking out five in his second consecutive quality start.

He said it was the best he has felt since coming off the DL and credited a sinker that he could locate on both sides of the plate for his strong performance.

"The ball was doing what I wanted it to do today," said Worley, who fell to 3-3 but lowered his ERA to 2.80.

His 105 pitches -- 65 of which were strikes -- were the second most he has thrown this season, but he said he was not fatigued at all, even when entering the later innings.

Like Manuel, much of what Worley had to say was about his catcher.

"It [stinks]," Worley said matter-of-factly. "A lot of us are doing what we need to do to make sure we are in shape to play, but things are kind of spiraling out of control. It's out of our control. We show up and play and hope that everyone is feeling fine."

The only earned run Worley allowed came in the third inning off an opposite-field double by Brett Lawrie that plated speedster Rajai Davis and gave the Blue Jays a one-run lead.

A throwing error by third baseman Mike Fontenot the following inning cost Worley the other two runs.

With Jose Bautista on first, Worley got designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion to hit into a fielder's choice, but Fontenot, who fielded the ball cleanly, threw the ball into right field trying to get Bautista at second base; Bautista scored on the play.

Encarnacion raced all the way to third and later scored on a Yunel Escobar groundout.

"We didn't have a very good game, although Worley pitched real good," Manuel said. "When you get right down to it, they outplayed us."

Toronto faced an injury of its own. Starter Drew Hutchison was forced to leave the game after nine pitches with soreness in his right elbow. He's the third Toronto starter to have left a game prematurely this week.

Philadelphia had no answers for Toronto's bullpen, though, as five relievers held the Phillies off the board.

Long man Carlos Villanueva threw four innings, striking out five and earning the victory.

"I'll do whatever they want me to do," Villanueva said. "This is my seventh season. I think I've gotten stats in every single category -- win, loss, save, hold, blown save, everything. For me it's just another day at the office."

Jim Thome drew a walk in the third inning to move within one of tying Mickey Mantle for seventh on the all-time list.

Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.