Herrera most comfortable near top of order

Phillies center fielder entered Sunday's finale with HR in three straight games

Herrera most comfortable near top of order

MILWAUKEE -- Perhaps the question on Saturday struck a chord with Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera.

After he homered and doubled in Saturday night's 3-2 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park, Herrera answered a few questions about his recent offensive performance. He has hit mostly fifth, sixth or seventh since June 20, after spending most of the season hitting anywhere from first to third.

He used the Phillies' interpreter to answer the first few questions, until asked if he hopes this recent offensive surge will get him out of the bottom of the Phillies' lineup. Herrera has hit mostly fifth, sixth or seventh since June 20, after spending most of the season hitting anywhere from first to third.

"Yeah, yeah, that's important to me," Herrera said, answering the question in English.

Why?

"Because I think that's my spot," he continued. "That's my game. I think in that position I can help the team win."

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin had Herrera back in the leadoff spot Sunday afternoon, and Herrera responded going 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI in a 5-2 win. After a terrible May dropped Herrera's batting average to .218 and his OPS to .589, Herrera has hit .320 with 17 doubles, five home runs, 19 RBIs and an .891 OPS. Entering Sunday, His OPS was 49th out of 163 qualified hitters since June 1. It is the best mark on the team.

Herrera's RBI double

"I didn't think about baseball at all," Herrera said about the All-Star break. "At least I tried not to. I even avoided watching baseball on TV. I knew those were four days I had to be on vacation. I wanted to have them for my own time and forget about baseball and forget about what happened in the first half."

Altherr update

Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr remained out of the lineup Sunday after straining his right hamstring Friday. Altherr could be placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday, with second baseman Cesar Hernandez taking his place on the 25-man roster. Hernandez is expected to be activated on Monday and has been on the DL since June 11 because of a strained left oblique.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.