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Ben Revere successful in return to Phillies' starting lineup
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When longtime Citizens Bank Park announcer Dan Baker was done introducing the Phillies on Sunday, the home nine ran onto the field. Ben Revere was among them. He trotted out to center and took his position.

That has become a far less regular occurrence lately. In the four games that preceded Sunday’s meeting with the visiting Cincinnati Reds, Charlie Manuel penciled John Mayberry Jr. onto the lineup card and put an eight next to his name. And so Revere sat on the bench, watching and waiting for another opportunity.

After hitting eighth for much of May, Manuel put Revere in the two-hole on Sunday. That had a lot to do with the rest of the order getting moved around since Ryan Howard had the day off because of soreness in his left knee. (Howard will have an MRI Monday morning.) So there was Revere – second in the lineup, one spot behind Jimmy Rollins and one spot ahead of Michael Young.

Revere started the day by doing something rare (for him): He got a hit. Even more unusual, that hit was of the extra-base variety. Revere smacked a 1-1 slider from Homer Bailey into the right-center field gap. The ball hit the wall on one bounce and Revere reached second base without much trouble. The double was only his third extra-base hit of the season.

Revere also added two singles in the Phillies' 3-2 walk-off win on Sunday. It was just the eighth game all season in which he managed more than one hit. Revere also scored the Phillies' first run of the afternoon. It was a good day for him in a season that hasn’t featured many for the centerfielder.

“It’s just taken a little time to get my thoughts together and get my swing together again,” Revere said about returning to the starting lineup. “It kind of helped a little bit. Hopefully I can take it from here and keep it going. I’m just trying to get on base and have the big guys drive me in.”

It has not been a great season for the light-hitting Revere, who raised his average 17 points on Sunday. About a month ago, when Revere’s struggles at the plate were suddenly obvious to everyone and he was dropped from the lead-off spot to the eight-hole, he said he had lost his swing early in the season and was in the process of finding it. That search has lasted for much of the year.

The centerfielder entered Sunday with stats so thin you could almost read the newspaper through them: A slash line of .237/.286/.548, five RBIs and 13 runs scored. Not good.

Revere had a .333 on-base percentage a year ago. That’s not great, but it was the best mark of his career. This season, he’s not reaching base nearly as often. During spring training, he said he wanted to improve his approach at the plate and walk more, but so far he’s worked just eight free passes from opposing pitchers.

On Sunday, Revere boosted his average to .254. The highest his average has been this season was .259. That came after he went 3 for 5 against Kansas City –- back on April 7, which was the Phillies' sixth game of the year.

When asked about the issues with his stroke, Revere recently said he was trying to find his power swing. That was a curious thing to say.

In 1,111 career at-bats, he’s never hit a home run. That’s the longest long-ball drought to start a major-league career since Jason Tyner went 1,220 at-bats without a home run between 2000 and 2007.

In 122 at-bats this season, Revere has hit 71 balls that haven’t left the infield. He had 43 infield hits last year, and he has nine so far this season. And yet, on Sunday, Revere repeated that he’s looking for his power swing.

“I went back to the film,” Revere said of the way he used his time off. “I went back to look at what I like to do. I looked at things in the minor leagues to see how my set-up was because I had more power then. Now it kind of faded off. I tried to go back to that and adjust myself in the box. It helps my swing be smoother.”

Power swing. Smooth swing. Whatever he wants to call his swing, it looked better on Sunday than it has almost all season.

“Yeah,” Revere said, “I’ll take it.”