Phillies Notes: Sandberg's hunch on Asche pays off

Jonathan Pettibone continues to have right-shoulder problems. The pitcher is on the disabled list. RON CORTES / Staff
Jonathan Pettibone continues to have right-shoulder problems. The pitcher is on the disabled list. RON CORTES / Staff
Posted: May 19, 2014

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg played a hunch, and it worked to help wake up a sputtering Phillies offense. Sandberg moved Cody Asche from the No. 8 hole to the No. 6 for the first time this season, and the second-year third baseman made the move pay off.

Asche broke the Phillies' 23-inning scoreless streak with an RBI double in the six-run fourth inning during the 12-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.

"That hit sparked everybody and loosened the bats," Sandberg said.

The second-year third baseman went 2 for 4 with three RBIs, giving him consecutive multiple-hit games for the first time this season. Asche was 3 for 4 in Friday's 3-0 loss.

"I was impressed with his at-bats [Friday], driving the ball, having nice aggressive swings, and that is why I will try him in the sixth spot," Sandberg said before the game.

Asche had one multiple-hit game through April and now has five in May.

Pettibone hurting

Righthander Jonathan Pettibone, who pitched two games for the Phillies this year between two stints at triple-A Lehigh Valley, has been placed on the disabled list by the IronPigs with a right-shoulder strain.

Pettibone has labrum irregularities, which, according to Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., is nothing different from what was seen on previous MRIs. Amaro said that Pettibone would see orthopedic surgeon James Andrews on Wednesday for a second opinion because he is still experiencing discomfort.

Pettibone missed the last two months of the 2013 season with a shoulder strain, and he continued to experience discomfort at the beginning of spring training.

He began the season at Lehigh Valley, was called up, and pitched two games for the Phillies before being sent back down. With the Phillies, he was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts covering nine innings.

Last season, Pettibone started 18 games for the Phillies, going 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 18 starts.

Smaller homecoming

Reds third baseman Todd Frazier has been teased about his homecoming at Citizens Bank Park, especially after Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout seemingly brought half the town of Millville for his two games last week, including the high school band.

Frazier is a graduate of Toms River South, and he said he had about 100 people at the game on Friday and expected that many Saturday.

"Jimmy Rollins said to me at third base, 'Why couldn't you bring a band,' " Frazier said, laughing. "It was awesome the crowd [Trout] brought."

Frazier said his family lives about two hours from Citizens Bank Park. Millville is within an hour's drive. Still, Frazier liked the extra company.

"Whenever I have family in town, I feel I have to play better, and I am excited," Frazier said.

Utley a winner

Utley rallied to win the $400,000 Dixie Stakes, the richest of the Preakness undercard stakes Saturday in Baltimore. Trained by Jonathan Sheppard and jockey Edgar Prado, the 6-year-old got his sixth victory in 24 starts.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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