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Asche sits again as Sandberg rides Galvis’ defense

LOS ANGELES – Cody Asche is not in the Phillies’ starting lineup for a third straight game Wednesday night.

The 23-year-old third baseman has just two hits in his last 23 at-bats and is hitting .196 in his first 17 games.

Freddy Galvis is stating at third base for the second time in three games against the Dodgers. Jayson Nix started there on Tuesday night. The Phillies faced left-handed starters in both of those games, but are facing a righty in Zack Greinke on Wednesday night.

There was some belief that the lefty-hitting Asche would return to the lineup against the right-hander Greinke, but manager Ryne Sandberg decided to go with Galvis because of the superior defense he provides behind starter Cole Hamels. The Phillies have won three in a row and Sandberg believes Galvis can help keep the momentum going, even though he is just 1 for 18 at the plate.

“The biggest improvement we’ve made the last three games is in pitching and defense,” Sandberg said. “Freddy has been part of that so he’s in the lineup. It’ll be good to have Cole out there. He can get some ground balls. Freddy has been part of making good plays and solid defense. Pitching and defense gives you a chance to win.”

Sandberg expressed faith in Asche two days ago (see story). However, Asche has been out of the starting lineup six times in the last 11 games.