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Phillies’ Oswalt Leaves Team After Tornado Damage Near Home

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt has temporarily left the team, concerned about his family after deadly tornadoes struck near his home in Mississippi.

Oswalt may rejoin the Phillies in time for his next scheduled start, which is May 3 against the Washington Nationals, the Major League Baseball team said in a statement.

The Phillies said tornado activity has caused several deaths and significant damage in the area near Oswalt’s home. The Associated Press reported that storms had killed at least 10 people from Arkansas to Alabama, including a man struck by a tree at a Mississippi campsite.

“He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn’t significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are OK,” Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro said. “It is almost a year to the day that his parents’ house was destroyed by a tornado, which has heightened his concern about the current situation.”

Oswalt, 33, is one of four All-Star pitchers in the Phillies’ starting rotation, along with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. The group has helped Philadelphia win 15 games this season, tied for the second-most in the majors behind the Colorado Rockies.

Oswalt lasted three innings in yesterday’s 7-5 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing five runs on six hits. It was his first defeat in five starts this season and his first regular-season loss since his Phillies debut on July 30, 2010.

Oswalt is 3-1 with a 3.33 earned run average this season. He allowed five earned runs in his first four starts before yesterday’s loss in Phoenix.

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