Brown back, Revere improving in No. 7 hole

Brown back, Revere improving in No. 7 hole

April 20, 2013, 5:30 pm
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Domonic Brown is back in the Phillies’ lineup for Saturday night’s game against Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn. A sore back had kept Brown out of games on Thursday and Friday, but he’s back and will bat fifth.

Ryan Howard remains out with a sore groin, but he is getting closer to a return and will be available to pinch-hit. Manager Charlie Manuel decided to give Howard another day off to get over lingering stiffness and soreness.

John Mayberry will play first base and bat sixth (see tonight's lineup).

Jimmy Rollins leads off for a third straight game and Ben Revere remains in the seven-hole. Manuel thinks moving Revere down has enabled the first-year Phillie to settle down and play within himself more.

“I think when I moved him down it might’ve slowed him up a bit, because he was really trying hard, swinging hard, jumping out, things like that," Manuel said. "I think that that definitely calmed him down some. He can see the ball better. He can relax more, really.”

As the Phillies’ leadoff batter, Revere struck out 11 times in his first 67 plate appearances. He was on pace for 115 Ks after striking out just 100 times in three years in Minnesota. Since moving to seventh, Revere has gone 3 for 6 with a triple and two runs scored -- more than he had in previous 10 games combined.

Lineup balance
Although batting Michael Young fourth may seem like an appealing option even upon Howard’s return to split up the Phils’ lefties, don’t expect it to continue when the Piece comes back.

“I don’t think so, right now at this time,” Manuel said Saturday. “First of all, we’ve got to get Ryan going. I think that we’ve got to have Ryan’s power in our lineup. He is our big RBI guy. Guys are always talking to me about dropping him down, dropping him down. That’ll be the day when somebody knocks in 130 runs. I haven’t seen nobody out here that can do that yet.

“I think sometimes, we look for the balance. I like to think that if you’ve got a lot of hitters being able to offset being left-handed, things like that, that helps. But at the same time, you still get back to the hitting part, too. There’s not too many left-handed hitters anymore that tire out left-handed pitching. I checked. I looked at other teams, especially the reports and things that come across my desk. That’s down. Down in baseball. What we need to do, we need to get Howard hitting like he has in the past.”

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