Show of force keeps Mesoraco in fourth

Show of force keeps Mesoraco in fourth

SAN FRANCISCO -- Second baseman Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup on Thursday after missing three games with a bruised right heel, but not in his usual fourth spot.

Hot-hitting catcher Devin Mesoraco, who batted cleanup while Phillips was out, remained there, and Phillips was dropped to fifth.

"Brandon just missed three games and Devin is becoming the prototype No. 4 hitter, with the power and run production," manager Bryan Price said. "I still like Brandon there in the middle, because he gives you a good at-bat, and he does a lot of good things for us."

Mesoraco saw his five-game homer streak end during Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Cubs, but entered Thursday with an eight-game hitting streak. He already has a career high for home runs (14) despite two stints on the disabled list.

"That's where you want to have your most productive hitters grouped together, so you can get some runs when you go through that part of the order," Mesoraco said of batting fourth. "I feel like we have an awesome lineup. Everybody is starting to swing the bat well. For me to be right there in the middle, it's very special. Hopefully, I can keep producing."

As for the end of his homer streak, Mesoraco admitted that it was on his mind during Wednesday's game.

"It's not like a hitting streak, where you can get one of those every night," he said. "You know fairly soon it's going to come to an end."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.