Phillips shows signs of improvement

Phillips shows signs of improvement

MILWAUKEE -- Reds manager Dusty Baker believed he was seeing signs of Brandon Phillips starting to heat up. The Reds second baseman was 2-for-4 in Monday's 6-1 win and drove the ball hard three times.

Phillips, who was plagued with a sore left hamstring much of last month, ran the bases at full speed when he doubled to left field in the sixth inning. It appears he's nearly 100 percent again.

"It's getting close because I see him itching to steal," Baker said on Tuesday. "I'm still saying no, but I see him itching. If larceny is in your veins on the bases, it's hard to get it out."

Baker expects that Phillips will be turned loose on the bases soon.

"When the hot weather gets here, he'll be wide open," Baker said. "He's done well at playing smart."