Mayberry, Wigginton crack opener lineup

Mayberry, Wigginton crack opener lineup

Mayberry, Wigginton crack opener lineup
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had numerous options and possibilities, but in the end he chose John Mayberry Jr. and Ty Wigginton to be in his Opening Day lineup.

It worked out pretty well in Thursday's 1-0 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park. Wigginton went 1-for-4 and scored the game's only run, and Mayberry went 2-for-4, with his double setting up the Phillies' run in the seventh inning.

There had been some thought Manuel would have Juan Pierre hit first and play left field. But Manuel said before the game he liked the righty-lefty matchups between the right-handed-hitting Mayberry and Wigginton and Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard. That meant Shane Victorino hit first, Placido Polanco hit second, Jimmy Rollins hit third, Hunter Pence hit fourth, Wigginton hit fifth and Mayberry hit sixth.

But Manuel also chose Mayberry over Pierre in left field for another reason.

"I looked at how Mayberry played at the end of last year," he said.

Mayberry played well for the Phillies in the second half of last season, but struggled this spring. Starting Mayberry was Manuel's way of showing faith in him.

Manuel also explained why he had Wigginton hit fifth and Mayberry sixth.

"I put him in the five-hole because of his strength and his power numbers in the past," Manuel said of Wigginton. "One guy I was really considering playing was Pierre. He's going to get to play a lot. He's going to lead off a lot. And Mayberry is going to play a lot. So is Wigginton and so is Laynce Nix. I'm going to play a lot of guys early in the season and kind of get them lined up and in a position where they do feel confident to have a good season."