Sandberg sticks with hot hand in Gwynn
PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Ryne Sandberg is sticking with the hot hand in center field and at the top of the lineup, which happens to be Tony Gwynn Jr.
Gwynn made his fourth straight start on Monday in place of Ben Revere. Gwynn has been a catalyst in the leadoff spot over the past three games, scoring three runs and batting .333, in addition to his playing his usual solid defense.
"He's doing a nice job at the top of the order, so I want to stick with the same lineup and try and keep the momentum going," Sandberg said before Monday's series opener against the Braves. "I like what he's doing."
Revere bruised some ribs on an attempted diving catch on Wednesday against Milwaukee, which opened the door for Gwynn to start each game of the three-game sweep of Miami over the weekend.
Sandberg said that Revere was feeling much better on Monday, so Gwynn's presence in the lineup had more to do with his performance than Revere's health.
"I think both guys bring a little different package," Sandberg said. "I think as far as a defender, I think Ben has come a long way. Tony does a nice job out there. I don't have a problem with either one. I like what Tony has done out there on the defensive side of it. He shows experience out there, knowledge of the hitters, gets good jumps."
It's a small sample, but the Phillies are 4-0 this season when Gwynn is in the starting lineup. He started on Opening Day in left field, with Revere in center and leading off.
"He's doing everything Ben does," outfielder Domonic Brown said. "He's getting on, he's doing little things in the outfield, everything he needs to do."