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Lidge to join Phillies' bullpen Friday

Lidge to join Phillies' bullpen Friday

The Phillies will get their closer back on Friday.

Brad Lidge will be activated prior to the team's series opener against the Mets, which begins a 10-game homestand. To make room on the roster, the Phillies optioned lefty Antonio Bastardo to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday.

Lidge was placed on the DL on March 26 to give him more time to recover from offseason surgery on his right elbow. The 33-year-old right-hander then made eight rehab appearances for the Phillies' Class A, Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, posting a 5.19 ERA but tossing seven scoreless innings over his past six outings.

After throwing two scoreless innings for Double-A Reading on Tuesday, Lidge pronounced himself "ready to go," and the Phillies apparently felt the same way.

Lidge is coming off a rough 2009 season that saw him post a 7.21 ERA while blowing 11 of his 42 save chances. He then logged four scoreless innings to start the postseason before giving up three runs to the Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series.

The 24-year-old Bastardo posted a 1.69 ERA through 5 1/3 innings spanning seven appearances.

After wrapping up a 4-5 road trip, the Phillies are off on Thursday.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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