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05/01/08 7:38 PM ET

Bruntlett bolstered by playing every day

Infielder brings eight-game hitting streak into Thursday

PHILADELPHIA -- When Eric Bruntlett was traded to the Phillies along with closer Brad Lidge, he was hoping to become a key utility player.

Instead he has found himself playing every day.

Bruntlett scuffled a bit at the plate initially but has since settled in quite nicely while filling in for the injured Jimmy Rollins on an everyday basis. Bruntlett carried an eight-game hitting streak (9-for-28) into Thursday's game against the Padres, raising his average to .227. The last time he didn't record a hit was on April 21, at Colorado.

Along the way he has frustrated the opposition, hanging in for some long at-bats by fouling off a number of pitches.

He has also hit in various spots in the lineup.

"His hitting is definitely getting better by getting relaxed," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's taking good swings, and knowing he's going to play every day, I think, is making a difference."

Bruntlett worked through some early-season struggles but has responded to contribute during his hitting streak.

"I feel like it's coming together for me," Bruntlett said. "It is getting better, and I know I have more work to do. I'm going to keep doing what I always do, work hard and, hopefully, good things will happen."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.