PHI@MIA: Altherr tracks down a deep fly to left field

MIAMI -- The Phillies optioned outfielder Aaron Altherr to Double-A Reading following Thursday night's 5-4 victory over the Marlins.

The Phillies said they will announce a corresponding move Friday in Pittsburgh, although manager Ryne Sandberg said he expects it will be outfielder Domonic Brown rejoining the club. Brown has been on the paternity list since Tuesday.

Altherr, ranked No. 5 on the Phillies' Top 20 Prospects list according to MLB.com, made his first big league start Thursday. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Sandberg calls for difference-makers among players

"I do whatever comes to mind," Sandberg said about motivation.

MIAMI -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg had indicated he might speak to his team before Thursday's series finale against the Marlins.

He did, but he said he spoke to players individually.

"We've got to do it between the lines, be ready to be the guy to make a difference," Sandberg said about his message. "That's what we need is somebody to make a difference and get it snowballing the other way. Create some momentum by any one guy, having a game or getting the job done."

Sandberg had two team meetings earlier this season: one in New York and one in Washington. They were short and sweet.

So far, Sandberg hasn't flipped tables or dropped a bunch of curse words.

"I do whatever comes to mind," he said. "That's happened in the dugout a few times, more within the action."

Sandberg said he thinks players are anxious to get things turned around, although it might be too late to change the minds in the Phillies' front office. They entered the game having lost 10 of their previous 12 games to fall a season-worst 12 games under .500.

Worth noting

• Phillies left-hander Mario Hollands took a line drive off his right knee cap Wednesday. He suffered a bruise, but Sandberg said he is OK. He was available to pitch Thursday, although Sandberg said he would like to stay away from him if possible.

• Phillies No. 5 prospect Aaron Altherr made his first big league start Thursday, in left field. He joined the team while Domonic Brown is on paternity leave.

"Throw in new blood," Sandberg said.