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Ruiz gets first break from behind the plate

CHICAGO -- Carlos Ruiz got his first break of the season Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg played backup catcher Wil Nieves for the first time this year. The break for Chooch is needed as no catcher in baseball started more than 134 games last season, and only four started more than 119.

Ruiz, who has spent each of the previous five seasons on the disabled list with various injuries, started the season on a tear, hitting .308 (4-for-13) with one double, five walks, six runs scored and a remarkable .625 on-base percentage. He spent two of those games hitting second while Jimmy Rollins left the team to spend time with his wife, who gave birth to their second daughter.

"I'm feeling great at home plate, I'm not afraid to work with two strikes," Ruiz said. "I do work the count a little bit, see more pitches. And then right there, you just want to give a chance to the guys behind you to [see the pitcher]."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Joe Popely is an associate reporter for
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