PHILADELPHIA -- Flash is officially back. The Phillies activated closer Tom Gordon after Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. Reliever Brian Sanches, who gave up four home runs Sunday, was optioned to Triple-A Ottawa to make room for Gordon. The 39-year-old had been on the disabled list since May 2. In addition to a right shoulder inflammation, Gordon was slowed by an upper respiratory infection that hospitalized him.
"I'm excited about today," Gordon said. "The last couple times I've gotten a chance to throw the ball, it's kind of been a bit of a roller coaster. But for the most part, I felt good. Things have been going well." Gordon threw Sunday morning in Philadelphia with general manager Pat Gillick and assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. looking on. "I talked to [Gordon] this morning," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Ruben and Pat thought he threw good." Manuel said they'd probably know in a day or two when Gordon would be ready to pitch. He will likely get a couple of tuneup innings of middle relief before returning to any sort of closer role. "He'll work in a game an inning before we throw him in at a big moment in the back of the bullpen," Manuel said. "I think we got to get him out on the mound first, but I think he's going to be fine." Brett Myers, who replaced Gordon when he hit the DL, joined him on May 24 with a strained right shoulder. Myers is expected to face live batters on Tuesday in Clearwater, Fla. If that goes well, his next step would be a Minor League rehab assignment. When Myers done return, assuming Gordon is still on the active roster, there would be a competition for the closer's role. Manuel reiterated Sunday that he wouldn't consider moving Myers back to the starting rotation. "I'm just excited to be here to be able to help in any way," Gordon said. Flying high: Michael Bourn hit his first career home run in the ninth inning Sunday. Bourn's phone was lit up with congratulatory calls and text messages after hitting an inside fastball from Andy Cavazos over the right-field wall. The shot didn't affect the outcome of the game, but it did put off the long commute to Los Angeles that followed the game. "Six hours," Bourn said disdainfully of the flight time after the game. "You sit on the runway for an hour. You fall asleep and you're still here." Up in the air: Manuel seemed surprised Sunday that J.D. Durbin was listed as the probable Tuesday starter in the pregame notes passed out by the club's P.R. staff. Durbin was listed there, though, because Manuel said Friday the 25-year-old was the Phillies' most likely candidate to fill Tuesday's vacant spot in the rotation. That was before Durbin walked three, including one with the bases loaded, and plunked a batter during an inning of relief Friday night against the Cardinals. Durbin said Saturday he hadn't been told anything as to whether he'd start, but he did say he preferred starting to coming out of the bullpen. "I can warm up at the pace I want to warm up," Durbin said. "When I'm in the bullpen, I sit for seven, eight innings. You just try to prepare yourself for that, and commanding the ball and getting ahead of hitters." Durbin's most recent three appearances have come in relief. His lone start, on June 29 against the Mets, ended after 4 2/3 innings and Durbin having allowed six earned runs. If Manuel decides not to go with Durbin, he may go with J.A. Happ, who got one start with the Phillies earlier this season before being optioned back to Triple-A Ottawa. Philling in: Manuel reiterated Sunday that, when Myers returns, he would not consider putting him back in the starting rotation. ... Reliever Clay Condrey was back in the Phillies clubhouse after having his contract purchased from Triple-A Ottawa on Saturday. ... Phillies pitchers have 30 hits this season, best in the National League. ... The Phillies were packed and ready to leave Sunday for an odd turnaround that has them flying to the West Coast following a home night game. Coming up: Left-hander Jamie Moyer will kick off the Phillies West Coast swing with a 10:10 p.m. ET start against the Dodgers on Monday. He is 3-3 lifetime against L.A., with a 3.62 ERA. He'll face Brad Penny, who is 10-1 with a 2.39 ERA this season.
Stephen Fastenau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.