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Back spasms lead to Phillips' early exit

Reds remove second baseman for precautionary reasons in third inning

CHICAGO -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was removed in the third inning of Friday's 4-1 win over the Cubs for precautionary reasons after suffering back spasms. The Reds will re-evaluate Phillips on Saturday.

"Well, we hope that it's not so severe that he can't play tomorrow," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "We'll find out tomorrow. But he wanted to play, wanted to stay in -- I just felt like it wasn't a very good idea. That second at-bat, you could see there was some discomfort, so I didn't see it getting any better. ... I just didn't think it was a great idea, so we got him out of there."

Phillips, the third hitter of the game, flailed awkwardly at a 1-1 slider from Jeff Samardzija in the first inning. Members of the Reds' training staff then came out to tend to Phillips, who began performing stretches for his back and sides. Phillips singled up the middle on the next pitch, appearing to use mostly his arms and wrists to do so.

Phillips looked uncomfortable in his second at-bat and struck out to end the top of the third. He was replaced at second by Ramon Santiago to start the bottom half.

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for
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