Phillips still trying to find groove at plate

Phillips still trying to find groove at plate

PITTSBURGH -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has been battling a sore left hamstring that forced him to miss five starts from April 10-14. In 15 appearances since his return, Phillips is batting .220 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

Phillips has struggled in his last 13 starts entering Sunday's series finale against the Pirates -- batting .240 in the cleanup spot.

Reds manager Dusty Baker didn't feel the hamstring was still an issue for Phillips.

"No, his leg is better now," Baker said. "Sometimes you struggle. There is not always a reason or alibi for it, sometimes you don't hit. One thing is for sure, he's going to hit.

"When you start the season hurt you are playing catch up and he hasn't caught up yet. This hitting isn't that easy."