Phillips out of starting lineup to stay fresh

Phillips out of starting lineup to stay fresh

HOUSTON -- Second baseman Brandon Phillips didn't start for Wednesday's series finale against the Astros. Phillips had started every game for the Reds since June 28.

Manager Dusty Baker, who started Wilson Valdez at second base in the No. 7 spot, said resting Phillips is part of an attempt to get all of his regular players a day off before heading into a stretch of 17 games in 17 days, which starts after Thursday's off-day on Friday in Colorado.

"Like I've said before, just trying to keep all our guys strong and keep all our guys fresh," Baker said.

Scott Rolen, Zack Cozart and Drew Stubbs didn't start on Sunday. Jay Bruce didn't start on Monday. Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey didn't start on Tuesday.

Baker will try to find another day off for his more regular players during the upcoming 17-game stretch. After that, Baker plans to field something close to his best lineup each day as the season winds down.

Phillips has been hot in the last 13 games, batting .434 with two homers and 11 RBIs. His .298 batting average heading into Wednesday's game is the highest it's been this season. He's started in 89 of the Reds' first 98 games.