CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips finally has the green light to run when he wants, and he couldn't be more pleased. Phillips feels 100 percent again after he spent much of April hampered by a sore left hamstring. He missed five starts, but otherwise played through the injury without going on the disabled list. Until recently, manager Dusty Baker would not allow Phillips to take chances on the bases. "Dusty has given me the open, thank you Lord," Phillips said on Friday. "I feel like I don't have any handcuffs on me right now. I'm very happy about that. Now I can steal a base. He gave me the hold sign a lot. Now I'm starting to feeling better. Hopefully I get my stolen bases, some key hits, and get this thing going."
Phillips entered Friday batting .253 with two home runs and 10 RBIs, but had heated up with two hits in each of his previous three games -- including two doubles. "My legs were killing me a little bit and my offensive numbers weren't where they [should be]," said Phillips. "I wasn't really tripping or getting mad about it, because I knew I was playing hurt. ... Now I'm feeling a whole lot better, and people can tell by the way that I am running and hitting."