Brown still out with sore neck

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If you have a ticket to Friday's game in Bradenton, you might be a little disappointed with the Phillies' lineup.

The only regulars you'll see will be Hunter Pence, albeit as a designated hitter, and John Mayberry Jr. at first base, an opening-day possibility. Cliff Lee will be pitching for the visiting team against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phillies' Hunter Pence celebrates his two run first-inning home run with Domonic Brown against the New York Yankees in a spring training game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, March 4, 2012. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )

Normally, you would have seen Dom Brown in this road-trip lineup, but the left fielder continues to be bothered by a stiff neck that caused him to be scatched from the lineup Thursday against Tampa Bay. Brown has missed seven games, including five earlier this spring with a sprained right thumb.

"It's frustrating, it really is," Brown said. "But stuff like this happens. Hopefully I can be on the field soon. They don't think it's a nerve thing, so that's good. They think it's a muscle thing. Just a kink up there is translating to something."

Brown said he believes a snooze on the team's bus ride to Kissimmee, Fla. Tuesday caused the neck stiffness. He hit a home run that day against the Houston Astros and also played the following day at home against  Minnesota Twins.

"In the third at-bat (against the Twins), it kind of got worse," Brown said. "I don't feel it until I really start swinging."

Brown said the pain is in his lower neck behind his head and also in the throat region. He took batting practice Friday morning in the cages at Bright House Field and continued to feel pain.

"I went in the cage this morning because I felt pretty good, but as soon as I started to make contact I felt it," Brown said.

Lou Montanez will play left field against the Pirates.

The full lineup for Friday's game: Juan Pierre, RF, Scott Podsednik, CF, Pence, DH, Mayberry, 1B, Montanez, LF, Pete Orr, 3B, Brian Schneider, C, Kevin Frandsen, 2B, Freddy Galvis, SS, Cliff Lee, P.

In one of the free-admission minor-league games at the Carpenter Complex in beautiful Clearwater, Jim Thome will play first base for the second time this spring.