Position changes are risky. They're even riskier when they're made in the middle of the season with no notice given to the player. Defensive struggles can spill over into what the player's production is at the plate. Then it becomes an even bigger problem to fix. At least on Day One Darin Ruf found a way not to be bothered by his shift from left to right field a position he never played in the major or minor leagues before Tuesday. Ruf was 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a run-scoring double in the Phillies' 9-8 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. "I just try to separate offense and defense no matter if I'm playing first left or right" Ruf said. "[And I've] been working with (assistant hitting coach) Wally [Joyner] and (hitting coach) Hendu (Steve Henderson). It's kind of nice when you're getting a good pitch to hit swinging at strikes having a plan every at-bat." The plan has worked. With Ruf's two hits he extended his on-base streak which dates back to Sept. 25 2012 to 33 games making it the longest active on-base streak in the majors and the longest by a Phillie since Chase Utley reached 33 consecutive games from Sept. 7 2008 to April 22 2009. During the streak Ruf has hit .318 (35-for-110) with 17 of his hits going for extra bases (nine doubles one triple seven home runs). The Phillies (51-61) had lost 13 of their last 14 games and averaged only 2.36 runs per game during that stretch. It was the most runs the Phillies had scored since July 19 when they beat the Mets 13-8 and it marked just the ninth time in their 112 games in which they scored at least eight runs (it happened five times in their first 25 contests). "I like the way we swung the bats" Manuel said. "That's good for our young players. [Cody] Asche and Ruf hit the ball good. Utley. Michael Young got a big hit for us (a sixth-inning two-out RBI double). We did some things right. "At the end of course we were hanging on for dear life."
Phillies come from behind, hang on for 9-8 win over Cubs
Allentown Morning Call | Aug 7