PITTSBURGH -- The sample size is small, but the production has been big. So far, the move of Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips to the leadoff spot in the lineup is working well. Phillips was 3-for-4 in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Pirates, which made him 10-for-18 in four games since he moved to the top of the lineup. In Friday's wild 11-8 win over the Pirates, he was 3-for-5 with four RBIs, including a three-run home run. "When I was hitting fourth, my No. 1 goal was to drive guys in. I wasn't worried about my average or anything -- just RBIs," Phillips said. "I'm glad they're giving me a chance to get something going for the team."
Phillips' two runs on Saturday gave him three since he began leading off on Wednesday -- the other came on his own homer -- which underscores the Reds' trouble driving in runs lately. Phillips went to manager Dusty Baker's office on Tuesday night and asked to lead off to help create more scoring chances. "I'm just glad Dusty listened to me and gave me a chance to do what I can do at the top of the lineup," Phillips said. "I feel like I can have all my tools hitting leadoff, or the second spot, and can really be myself." Ironically, Phillips is still driving in runs the last few games. "You can also get RBIs in the leadoff spot. Pitchers bunt the guy over, and we can have a guy in scoring position," he said. "Hit a double or hit a single and get an RBI. If they're not on base, I try to get on base for the big guys in the middle of the lineup."