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Phillips thriving in the No. 1 hole

The Sports Xchange
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Brandon Phillips may offer the Reds a long-term solution to their leadoff question.

"If people want me to do it," he said. "I can see myself there. I love to hit one, two, three in the order. Those would be my spots. It's where I love to hit. But if they need me to hit fourth, I'll hit fourth. I'll do my job and drive in runs. But if they need me to hit leadoff for the rest of the year and next year or forever as long as I'm going to be here, I'll do that.

"I just want to go out there and show what type of player I really can be -- let me be myself, like I was when I first got over here in '06, '07, let me just play the game."

Phillips has been on a tear since taking over in the leadoff spot eight games ago.

He has an eight-game hitting streak since moving to the leadoff spot. Phillips is hitting .429 (15-for-35) with a .474 on-base percentage, seven runs and seven RBI in the eight games.

The Reds have won five of the eight games. They won back-to-back road series since the move -- something they had not done in six road series.

The Reds hold the option on Phillips for next year. General manager Walt Jocketty has said the club will exercise it. If the Reds see Phillips as the solution for leadoff, they can concentrate on other needs.

The Reds were 43-29 with Phillips in the leadoff spot last year. He went to manager Dusty Baker and volunteered for the spot.

"Brandon is the one guy who can hit all over the lineup," Baker said. "Not many guys can do that."

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