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Thriving Ruiz gets day off in finale

PHOENIX -- Philadelphia's hottest hitter this week started Sunday's series finale against the D-backs on the bench, but Carlos Ruiz was not complaining.

"I'm feeling good at the plate, but I need rest, too," the catcher said. "I'm feeling really good now and I'm trying to stay positive. It feels real good."

Ruiz is hitting .500 (11-for-22) with a .593 on-base percentage and a 1.502 OPS with six extra-base hits and seven RBIs since Monday. He has also scored eight runs in the six games and racked up five hits in six at-bats with runners in scoring position during that span.

"He's just clutch," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He's using the whole field and he's big in situations. He's just red-hot."

Ruiz had only 10 hits in his first 49 at-bats during his first 14 games of the season. He had four extra-base hits and no RBI during that stretch.

"I just want to carry this throughout the whole season," Ruiz said.

Backup catcher Wil Nieves made his fifth start of the season Sunday.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.
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