{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Phillips credits Classic to scorching start

|
Phillips credits Classic to scorching start play video for Phillips credits Classic to scorching start

ST. LOUIS -- Brandon Phillips entered Tuesday's action with hits in each of the previous six games. The stretch coincided with the Reds second baseman's switch to the cleanup spot in the lineup.

Phillips batted second on Opening Day and went 0-for-5. He was moved to fourth after Ryan Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder. In the six games that followed, he was 11-for-27 (.407) with two home runs, four doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs scored.

"I was looking forward to doing my job in the two-hole. That didn't last too long," Phillips said. "My job right now is to focus and try to get 100 RBIs. When I found out I was hitting fourth, I set a goal for myself. I don't care about my batting average. I don't care about anything else. My job is to get to 100 RBIs. I've never done it. I came close once when I hit fourth, even though I didn't hit there the whole year."

In 2007, while often batting fourth between Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn, Phillips had 30 homers and 94 RBIs -- both career highs.

What's helped Phillips get so hot early? He credits his six-game experience in the World Baseball Classic last month while playing for Team USA.

"I learned a lot in the WBC and some of the approaches the other guys had," Phillips said. "I think it got me ready in a certain kind of way. I found out really the type of player I could be."

Phillips went 0-for-3 in Tuesday's 5-1 loss to the Cardinals and drove in the club's lone run with a sacrifice fly.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español