Notes: Coste gets the call to Majors

Notes: Coste gets the call to Majors

PHILADELPHIA -- Hopefully, Chris Coste didn't get any speeding tickets on his way to Citizens Bank Park.

Heck, the backup catcher/infielder probably doesn't remember the physical act of getting in his car and turning on the ignition. All he knows is the long road he's taken to get where he's going.

"I was sitting in my bed waiting to wake up from a dream," Coste said of the phone call he received telling him of his promotion. "I drove between 55 [mph] and 83 the whole way."

After Sunday's game, he stood in front of his locker in a Major League clubhouse, sporting jersey No. 27 -- with his name sewn on the back. His first appearance in a game will be his big-league debut.

"It's pretty cool," he said.

Coste was this year's Spring Training feel-good story, as a 33-year-old veteran Minor Leaguer fighting for a dream. He batted .463 (19-for-41) with three homers, and won a few spring games with big hits.

When Alex Gonzalez retired before Sunday's game, Coste got the call.

"He's got to be on Cloud 9," Jon Lieber said.

"I'm excited for him and his family," added Chase Utley. "This is why you play."

The right-handed-hitting Coste was batting .177 with two homers and 14 RBIs at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He might only be here until Saturday, when outfielder Aaron Rowand is expected to be activated from the disabled list, though the club might also option outfielder Chris Roberson.

Despite his lack of offense with the Red Barons, the Phils opted for Coste because of his ability to catch. Mike Lieberthal is already on the disabled list, and Sal Fasano is nursing the effects after being hit in a delicate area with a foul tip in Saturday's game.

Sorry: While driving to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to throw a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, Wells wanted to clear up confusion regarding his finger-pointing at David Dellucci.

Wells called a Red Sox representative to say his comments about Dellucci were misconstrued, and that he never directly accused the outfielder of taking any performance-enhancing drugs.

"I didn't accuse David Dellucci whatsoever," Wells told reporters at his rehab start. "I've known David for a long time. I've been his teammate. The man busts his [rear end] in the gym. He works hard. But we were just having conversation. I wasn't accusing him, or anything of the sort.

"I don't think he's [used performance-enhancing drugs] and if anyone has questioned it, I think it would be unfair for remarks that reporters made [were to be taken] out of context. I think it should be cleared up. I feel bad for [Dellucci], but we were just making points. They were asking about little guys who go deep, and would they be [suspected] of steroids. A lot of people say yes, and a lot of people would say no. I feel bad, because he shouldn't have to go through that."

During Wells' lengthy diatribe before Saturday's game, the often outspoken pitcher vented on the home run explosion -- particularly Barry Bonds -- and suggested how someone might think Dellucci's 29 homers last season were achieved through unnatural means.

Dellucci quickly shot back, saying that Wells "doesn't think sometimes before he speaks. This is the last thing I expected to hear from anybody. It's absolutely uncalled for. I don't how I got included in that."

Neither did Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who along with pitcher Curt Schilling, sought out Dellucci on Sunday to apologize.

"Out of respect to David Dellucci, I said I was sorry," Francona said. "I felt bad that something like that was in the papers. As far as the he said/she said, [Wells] has already talked to somebody and said he was misconstrued. That's where it ends with me, because I don't know. He's a member of our ball club and I respect that also.

"I wanted to apologize, because I've heard nothing but outstanding things about Dellucci, so I told him I felt bad. There are very unfair connotations in this steroid era, and I felt I needed to say that to him."

Not automatic: That automatic out at the bottom of the opponent's lineup has been anything but that for the Phillies this year.

Boston pitcher Josh Beckett went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, two runs and two RBIs on Saturday, improving opposing pitchers as a whole to 23-for-90 (.256) against Philadelphia through Saturday's game.

Eight teams in baseball have been holding opponents' entire lineups to a lower batting average, including three American League teams.

"[Opposing pitchers] have been killing us," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I don't know what it is."

It's been particularly problematic at Citizens Bank Park, where opposing pitchers are hitting .286. They've also scored 11 runs and driven in 12. Their seven doubles and two home runs put their slugging percentage at .400.

Before Beckett's offensive show, two of the best hitting pitchers in the National League put on a show against the Phillies. Livan Hernandez went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and three runs on April 19, and Tom Glavine was 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs on May 10.

Injury updates: Lieberthal is still experiencing discomfort when he tries to run, and won't come off the disabled list until he's 100 percent ready. ... Left-hander Randy Wolf will take another big step toward his return on Tuesday, when he will pitch in a simulated game in Clearwater, Fla. He's scheduled to pitch in an extended game on May 29, and is still hoping for a return in the first week of July. "There's been no setbacks, no surprises," GM Pat Gillick said.

Coming up: After a day off on Monday to support ALS with their annual Phillies Phestival, the Phillies will resume their pursuit of the Mets, this time at Shea Stadium.

Gavin Floyd, who opposes Steve Trachsel in Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. ET opener, has faced the Mets once this season and tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings in a rain-shortened victory.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.