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Phillips back in lineup after missing four games

Phillips back in lineup after missing four games

Phillips back in lineup after missing four games

CINCINNATI -- For the first time since being plunked on the left forearm Saturday, second baseman Brandon Phillips was back in the Reds' lineup Friday against the Cardinals.

Phillips suffered a forearm contusion when he was hit by Pirates lefty Tony Watson and missed four games.

"I'm just happy to be back in the game. Hopefully I can go out there and produce," said Phillips, who is ranked third in the National League with 45 RBIs.

Phillips has been able to swing a bat for a few days, but fielding was giving him issues. Reds manager Dusty Baker wanted him back for an important series with the rival Cardinals.

"He's going to feel it sometimes," Baker said. "I think we waited as long as we can wait."

Phillips admitted he was not 100 percent pain free yet.

"I couldn't extend my forearm. I still can't do it a little bit right now," he said. "Hopefully it's a little bit looser today. I felt it a little bit the last time I was hitting. It's a new day."

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.

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