Thome gets rare start at Citizens Bank Park

Thome gets rare start at Citizens Bank Park

PHILADELPHIA -- Citizens Bank Park public address announcer Dan Baker hasn't had much chance lately to do what he did on Friday night: introduce Jim Thome as the starting first baseman.

Friday marked only the second time Thome has started a game in Philadelphia since he left the club after the 2005 season. On June 13, 2007, he started at first for the White Sox in an Interleague game.

Manager Charlie Manuel picked Thome for the start against Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey over Ty Wigginton -- who homered against the Marlins on Thursday night -- Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Jr.

Manuel based the decision partly on the matchup and also because he wants to keep the 41-year-old as sharp as possible.

"He's got to play some, too. He's got to get some at-bats," Manuel said.