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Manuel keeps Utley second, Polanco third

Manuel keeps Utley second, Polanco third

SAN FRANCISCO -- Eight of the previous nine times that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel hit Chase Utley second and Placido Polanco third this year, the opposition started a left-handed pitcher.

But Manuel stuck with Utley hitting second and Polanco hitting third Tuesday in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park, despite the fact the Giants started right-hander Matt Cain. Manuel used the same lineup in Game 2, when the Phils faced lefty Jonathan Sanchez.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it?


"I like the lineup, because when I put Utley there, it gives us two guys at the top that are more apt to run," Manuel said, referring to leadoff hitter Shane Victorino and Utley. "And I feel like also we can -- if I want to -- play hit-and-run baseball with Polanco. He's a contact hitter. And I think I wanted to split Ryan [Howard] and Utley up again."