Today's Lineup: Struggling Maikel Franco Sits, Pitcher 9th

Maikel Franco is out of the Phillies' starting lineup for Thursday's series finale in St. Louis against left-hander Jaime Garcia.

Franco is really scuffling, going just 2 for 24 in his last seven games. He has one extra-base hit in his last 33 plate appearances, and is down to .243 with a .290 OBP on the season (see game notes).

Andres Blanco plays third base and bats in Franco's customary No. 3 spot.

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Darin Ruf is at first base against the lefty, spelling Ryan Howard, who homered on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Manager Pete Mackanin also switched up the bottom of the order, batting his pitcher ninth for the first time in 14 games. The Phillies went 10-3 with the pitcher batting eighth, but Mackanin did say that when the winning stopped, he'd probably go back to the more conventional lineup arrangement. The Phils have lost two of the first three at Busch Stadium.

1. Odubel Herrera, CF (reached base multiple times in MLB-leading 19 games)
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Andres Blanco, 3B (hit .349 with .974 OPS vs. lefties last season)
4. Darin Ruf, 1B
5. Cameron Rupp, C
6. Cesar Hernandez, 2B 
7. Tyler Goeddel, LF
8. Peter Bourjos, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

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