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Notes: Phillips racking up the steals

Notes: Phillips racking up the steals

CINCINNATI -- With each stolen base, the milestones keep piling up for Brandon Phillips.

His swipe of second base in the fourth inning of Saturday night's 12-7 loss to the Indians made Phillips to 16-for-16 in stolen bases this season. The last Reds player to begin the season with 16 or more consecutive steals was Ken Griffey Sr., who started the 1980 season with 19 steals without being caught.

"Basically, I just run when I think I can get a bag," Phillips said. "Just keep it nice and simple. It doesn't matter how good your lead is, you have to get a good jump when you're running."

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After being acquired from the Indians on April 7, Phillips has cemented himself as the Reds' starting second baseman and one of the best in the National League. He entered Sunday batting .320 with seven home runs and 44 RBIs.

"It's nice to have guys that can manufacture something rather than having to hit it out of the ball park all the time," said Reds manager Jerry Narron.

Lately, he has been as hot as ever. On Friday, he had four hits in a game for the second time this season. He was 5-for-8 (.625) with three runs scored through the series' first two games.

That kind of production prompted Narron to move Phillips to third in the batting order for Sunday's game. The No. 3 spot was sixth different spot in the order that Phillips has batted in this season.

Lineup changes: Ken Griffey Jr. was given the day off Sunday and was replaced by Ryan Freel in center field.

Juan Castro got his second straight start, this time at third base. After a day off, Scott Hatteberg was back at first base.

Phillips batted third in the order for the first time this season, and Adam Dunn was dropped from No. 2 to the cleanup spot.

Injury updates: Injured starting pitcher Paul Wilson, on the disabled list all season rehabilitating from right shoulder surgery, threw a 93-pitch simulated game in the bullpen Sunday.

Wilson reported feeling good, and will continue to build his rehabilitation up next week.

"He looked really good," said Reds trainer Mark Mann, who observed Wilson's session. "He needs to get into a situation where he's facing live hitting."

Next up for Wilson is some light throwing in the bullpen, which he is scheduled to do Tuesday. Assuming all goes well, he could face live batting practice or pitch in a simulated game later in the week.

In other injury news, reliever Grant Balfour and starter Brandon Claussen are both scheduled to throw live batting practice Tuesday at Triple-A Louisville.

Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion continues to rehab his sprained right ankle, and Narron reported that Encarnacion might be available to join the club later on next week.

All-Star memory: Though Narron is making his first trip to an All-Star Game as part of the National League's coaching staff, it won't be the first time he has seen one played live.

Narron was in Double-A West Haven as a catcher in 1977. The All-Star Game was held in New York at Yankee Stadium that year, and Narron, along with former teammate and current Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, went on their off-day to see the game.

"It was a lot of fun going over there," Narron recalled. "The thing that stood out for me was watching the infield. It was [Dave] Winfield and [Dave] Parker and Ellis Valentine in right field, taking infield [practice]. It was just unbelievable watching those guys throw."

Down on the farm: First baseman Joey Votto went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI to lead Double-A Chattnooga over Jacksonville, 5-2.

Travis Wood dropped his first decision as a professional when he allowed seven runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 innings for Class A Dayton in a 7-2 loss to Cedar Rapids.

On deck: Aaron Harang (9-5, 3.45 ERA) will be looking for his 10th win of the season when he takes the mound for the Reds on Monday in Milwaukee. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. ET. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Dave Bush (5-6, 4.45 ERA).

William S. Hupp is an associate producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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