Ruiz shakes off foul tip, starts St. Louis opener

Ruiz shakes off foul tip, starts St. Louis opener

Ruiz shakes off foul tip, starts St. Louis opener
ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Ruiz was in the starting lineup on Thursday, when the Philadelphia Phillies opened a four-game series in St. Louis.

One of the top defensive catchers in the National League, Ruiz took a foul tip off his right wrist in the eighth inning of a 4-1 win over Washington on Wednesday.

Ruiz stayed in the game, and X-rays after the contest were negative. He iced down the hand on the flight to St. Louis and said he was ready to go.

"It hurt at first," he recalled. "It's getting better. It's good enough."

Manager Charlie Manuel says he trusts Ruiz's judgment.

"He got hit pretty bad," Manuel said. "[But] he came to me and said he's OK. We'll see."

Ruiz hit out of the cleanup spot in the batting order for the first time in his career on Wednesday and batted out of the No. 4 hole again Thursday.

Although he doesn't possess the power stats of a normal cleanup hitter, Ruiz enjoyed hitting out of a different spot in the lineup.

"It was fun," he said. "I do whatever Charlie wants."

Ruiz entered Thursday's game third in the NL with a .357 average. He led all NL catchers in home runs (seven), RBIs (29) and total bases (75). He hit only six home runs all of last season. Ruiz has thrown out 10 of 30 would-be basestealers.