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Phillies C Ruiz back in Panama lineup after injury


Phillies C Ruiz back in Panama lineup after injury
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was back in the lineup for Panama on Sunday, a day after an injury scare.

Ruiz was taken out of Panama's first game at the World Baseball Classic on Saturday for precautionary reasons due to a neck strain. But after a night's rest, he was cleared to take batting practice, and Panama manager Hector Lopez penciled him into the starting lineup for Sunday's elimination game against the Dominican Republic.

"I feel good," Ruiz told MLB.com before the game. "I feel a little sore, but I can play."

Ruiz was removed late in Panama's 7-0 loss to Puerto Rico. Lopez said he had whiplash after the catcher fell while catching a popup in the seventh inning. Ruiz was 1-for-2 with a walk before he was replaced by Damaso Espino.

The 30-year-old Ruiz hit .219 with four home runs and 31 RBIs in 117 games last season. While he struggled offensively, Ruiz was lauded for his defense and game-calling and started behind the plate for the Phillies in every postseason game last year during their run to the World Series title.

Asked whether the injury gave him second thoughts about participating in the WBC, Ruiz told MLB.com that he felt he had to play.

"The President of Panama called me, and my mom wanted me to do it for our country," he said.

Notes: In his first Grapefruit League start but third spring appearance, Philadelphia right-hander Joe Blanton allowed one run and four hits in four innings against Atlanta. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, in competition for the fifth starter's job, allowed five runs (three earned) in two innings of relief. ... LHP Cole Hamels is scheduled to make his second spring start Monday.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 8, 2009

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