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Seeking offense, Sandberg stays course

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryne Sandberg came to Citizens Bank Park with a plan.

One day after the Phillies were no-hit by Josh Beckett and the Dodgers in a 6-0 shutout, Sandberg didn't feel the need to tinker with his lineup. The Hall of Fame second baseman felt his job -- at least where his lineup is concerned -- was simple. Have faith and put the same lineup back on the field.

"You get the guys back out there, and you have them bounce back," Sandberg said. "That's how you do something about it: bounce back the next day. I put thought into it every day. I look at certain things -- the pitcher throwing tonight -- but it came back to the point we needed to get the guys back out there."

The Phillies' offensive stagnancy this season, however, was apparent before Sunday. This isn't the 1927 Yankees lineup, or even the lineup the Phillies put on the field from 2005-10. This lineup, even with some very familiar names, just doesn't have that punch.

The Phillies have experienced five shutout losses in their past 10 games at home, six shutout losses in their past 18 games overall and seven shutout losses in 45 games this season. That is the second-most in baseball this season.

"Domonic [Brown] is out there," said Sandberg, who indicated he would go with Darin Ruf in left on Tuesday. "We have a lefty [Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa] going tomorrow. I have confidence in the offense to bounce back, and that's what you do after a no-hitter.

"In this ballpark, we need to improve on scoring runs. At times we've created a baserunner, and we just needed a swing to score some runs. With an offensive ballpark like this one, we need to answer the teams coming in. In a lot of ways it comes down to a hit, an extra-base hit or one out of the ballpark."

Michael Radano is a contributor to
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