SAN DIEGO -- Placido Polanco and John Mayberry Jr. were back in the Phillies' lineup on Thursday for the series opener against the Padres.After they didn't start Wednesday in a 1-0 11-inning loss to the Giants, Polanco was batting second and Mayberry was hitting sixth. Both have been struggling at the plate -- Polanco was hitting .179 and Mayberry was hitting .212 entering Thursday's game. Mayberry got into Wednesday's game as a pinch-hitter, but Polanco didn't play. Wednesday's loss was the Phillies' second shutout defeat of the season -- they were shut out seven times last season. Though Brian Schneider usually catches starting pitcher Vance Worley, manager Charlie Manuel decided to keep catcher Carlos Ruiz in the lineup, batting him seventh Thursday. Ruiz was hitting .306. "Chooch is playing good right now, hitting the ball good," Manuel said, indicating Schneider might play Saturday night's game or Sunday's day game. Manuel also had Juan Pierre leading off and starting in left field.
Manuel said he considered playing Jim Thome in the field Thursday, but he wants the veteran to hit against a pitcher he's faced. Rookie Joe Wieland was starting for the Padres.Manuel noted he's seen signs of progress for the struggling offense. The Phillies are batting .248. "Three games up until last night, I thought we swung the bat real good," Manuel said. "Last night was kind of a unique game as far as everything that happened. [Pitchers Matt] Cain and [Cliff] Lee, I can't tell who was better. Was Cain that good or was our hitting off? That might have been a combination of both. But at the same time, up until then, for the last three days, I felt like we definitely made some improvements swinging the bat."
Two Phils on ballot seeking first All-Star trip
SAN DIEGO -- Eight Phillies landed on the All-Star ballot released on Thursday, including two who could make their first trip to the Midsummer Classic.First baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Chase Utley, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, third baseman Placido Polanco, catcher Carlos Ruiz and outfielders John Mayberry Jr., Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino are the Phillies on the All-Star ballot. Howard and Utley are on the ballot, though they're on the disabled list. Ruiz and Mayberry have never been All-Stars in their careers. Online voting begins Friday. Fans can cast votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all team sites until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 28. The American League and National League All-Star teams will be revealed on July 1. The 83rd All-Star Game will take place July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Lee dazzles with changeup in 10-inning outing
SAN DIEGO -- Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee's changeup was particularly impressive in his 10 scoreless innings against the Giants on Wednesday night.Lee threw 24 changeups, 21 for strikes, as he became the first Phillies pitcher to throw 10 shutout innings since Steve Carlton did it in 1981 against the Expos. Lee struck out seven, walked none and allowed seven hits. The Giants won, 1-0, in 11 innings.
"He had unbelievable stuff," catcher Carlos Ruiz said. "It was good. Every pitch was working good. The biggest thing was the changeup."He was very aggressive early. It's too bad we didn't score a run for him. It happens sometimes."
The Phillies entered Thursday's series opener 22-4 all-time at Petco Park. They own an 11-game winning streak at the ballpark, the longest active streak for any visiting team at a stadium. Seven or eight players took the field for extra hitting before regular batting practice Thursday. Manager Charlie Manuel said that's a normal number for the Phillies. An advocate of regular hitting, Manuel liked the turnout.
Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.