Phillips avoids DL stint with calf injury

Phillips avoids DL stint with calf injury

Phillips avoids DL stint with calf injury
CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was not placed on the disabled list on Wednesday because of the strained left calf that forced him from Tuesday's 7-6 win. He still was not available to play against the Padres.

Phillips began having issues when his calf cramped Sunday in Colorado, sending him out of the game early. He was still bothered on Tuesday, but he still hit the game-winning home run in the seventh inning against the Padres. Manager Dusty Baker pulled Phillips before the eighth inning.

Whether Phillips will be ready for a big three-game series against the Pirates this weekend was unclear, but Baker was hopeful.

"We have a big series coming up, not to overlook [the Padres], of course," Baker said. "We have a day game [Thursday], so he'll probably sit today and tomorrow and be available to pinch-hit maybe, depending on the closeness or severity of the game."

Wilson Valdez started in Phillips' place at second base on Wednesday.

Phillips is batting .296 with 13 home runs and 62 RBIs this season, and has been one of the Reds' hottest hitters since Joey Votto went on the disabled list. In 15 games without Votto, Phillips, batting third in the lineup, was hitting .339 with three homers and 13 RBIs.

Now Baker is without his two best players at the same time for at least a couple of games. There is no timetable for Votto's return.

"It's a tremendous challenge," Baker said. "That's why we've got to make sure Brandon's is very short term, hopefully. Don't do anything to make it long term. Brandon heals pretty quickly and it's up to us to help him take care of his health.

"Hopefully we can continue to figure out a way to win. You'd like to pad this lead before the Pirates get here, or at least maintain what you've got."