"I felt like I had been throwing the ball well all June," Qualls said. "I had only given up runs in two outings this June. No excuses for [Wednesday]. I felt like I was throwing the ball better, but the organization felt like they wanted to make a move, and that's fine."
He was replaced on the roster by Jeremy Horst, the lefthanded reliever the Phillies acquired from Cincinnati in the offseason in exchange for infielder Wilson Valdez. Horst, 26, pitched in 12 games with the Reds last season with a 2.93 ERA. He was 2-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 26 appearances with triple-A Lehigh Valley this season.
The lefty made his Phillies debut in the ninth inning. He walked two of the first three batters he faced, but escaped without allowing a run. He retired Neil Walker on a foul-out before striking out Andrew McCutchen, who was batting .456 against lefties.
The Phillies also called up Brian Sanches from Lehigh Valley before Thursday's game. Sanches replaced Joe Savery on the roster and pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Qualls had allowed runs in just two of his 15 appearances this month, but still had a 4.26 ERA in June. Seven of his 15 outings were also less than one inning. Lefthanded hitters batted .377 with a .441 on-base percentage against Qualls.
Before Thursday's game, pitching coach Rich Dubee walked with Qualls into Manuel's office, where general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was also in attendance.
"I asked Ruben to trade me, and that's basically what he's trying to do," Qualls said. "I think they have eight to 10 days to try to do that, so right now he just kind of said that I'm in baseball limbo. They wanted a little bit more consistency. Hopefully, the move is better for the team."
The Phillies went hitless in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position Thursday. With two outs and Jimmy Rollins on third base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Hunter Pence popped out to center field, dropping his average to .196 with runners in scoring position. He is hitting .312 in all other situations.
Manuel said Pence at times takes too big a cut, especially when he sees fastballs.
ESPN.com reported that the Phillies are talking to American League teams to gauge interest in Jim Thome as a designated hitter. Thome, after hitting a long foul ball, struck out in an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance Thursday and is 1 for 16 as a pinch-hitter this season. . . . Utley appeared in his second straight game Thursday, this time as a pinch-hitter. He struck out swinging against A.J. Burnett in the seventh inning.