Mayberry earns more time

Mayberry earns more time

LOS ANGELES -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel will play the hot hand when it makes sense to him, so Tuesday he started John Mayberry Jr. in left field.

It seemed like a natural fit with Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly on the mound. The right-handed-hitting Mayberry has been doing damage when he puts the ball in play since rejoining the team in early July. He has hit .306 (19-for-62) with a .328 on-base percentage and a .726 slugging percentage in 22 games since July 4. Fourteen of his 19 hits have gone for extra bases.

"He's been hitting the ball good," Manuel said. "We'll see what he can do."

Mayberry appears to have moved ahead of Ben Francisco, who was the team's Opening Day right fielder. Mayberry has 62 at-bats since July 4, while Francisco has 16. Manuel disputed that before Tuesday's game.

"I'd like to play Francisco some, too," he said. "I definitely need to get him into some games and some playing time. I think John, right now, the fact he's been playing pretty good, he's kind of earned the right to play. But at the same time, Francisco can help us if he's swinging the bat good. I haven't given up on Ben."