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O-double! Hot Herrera sets mark, plays spark

Center fielder becomes first Phillie since 1913 with 2 doubles in 3 straight games
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

ATLANTA -- Good thing the Phillies kept Odubel Herrera in the big leagues, huh?

Herrera had been in a season-long funk that had some frustrated Phillies fans asking the front office to option him to Triple-A. But after being benched for the third time in four games Friday against the Giants, Herrera is on a tear. He had two doubles Saturday, two doubles and a home run on Sunday and two doubles and a home run in Monday night's 11-4 victory over the Braves at SunTrust Park. The Phillies have won three consecutive games.

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ATLANTA -- Good thing the Phillies kept Odubel Herrera in the big leagues, huh?

Herrera had been in a season-long funk that had some frustrated Phillies fans asking the front office to option him to Triple-A. But after being benched for the third time in four games Friday against the Giants, Herrera is on a tear. He had two doubles Saturday, two doubles and a home run on Sunday and two doubles and a home run in Monday night's 11-4 victory over the Braves at SunTrust Park. The Phillies have won three consecutive games.

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"It's been pretty awesome to watch," said Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph, who went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBIs. "Any time he swings the stick, it's a barrel. Good for him. Get him going, a guy at the top of the order that can do so much offensively is a good weapon to have. It's good when he gets going like this."

Herrera is the first Phillies player since at least 1913 to have two doubles in three consecutive games. He is the fifth Phillies player since at least 1913 to have two extra-base hits in three consecutive games, joining Johnny Callison (1966), Tony Gonzalez ('62) and Bill Nicholson ('53) at three games. Dolph Camilli ('36) holds the record at four.

Video: PHI@ATL: Herrera drills a double to right-center

Herrera also joins Del Ennis (1952) as the only two Phillies players since at least 1913 to have two doubles and a home run in consecutive games. Herrera is the first player in the big leagues to accomplish the feat since Cleveland's Travis Hafner in 2005.

"Odubel, he looks like the guy we know he can be," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It's great to see."

Herrera, who was not available to comment, had hit just .218 with 12 doubles, three home runs, 14 RBIs and a .589 OPS through Friday. He ranked 160th out of 166 qualified batters in OPS in that stretch. But Herrera is hitting .243 with 18 doubles, five home runs, 22 RBIs and a .686 OPS following Monday's game.

He raised his batting average 25 points and his OPS 97 points in three games.

Video: PHI@ATL: Herrera drills a line-drive homer to right

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak on Friday offered his explanation for letting Herrera work out of his slump in the big leagues.

First, he said Herrera is a streaky hitter.

"I think Odubel is a candidate to bust out and get four hits in a game any day now," Klentak said.

Second, Herrera has played Gold Glove-caliber defense.

"The value he provides the team on defense alone warrants his inclusion in the lineup," he said.

Of course, Klentak said, it's even better when Herrera is hitting. He has done that the past three games in impressive fashion.

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.

Philadelphia Phillies, Odubel Herrera