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Phillips notches No. 2,000 to extend hit streak

Braves veteran singles in first inning of twin bill vs. Phillies
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- "My momma is slick," Brandon Phillips said after becoming the 12th active player to reach 2,000 hits.

The veteran infielder had pushed a bloop single to right-center in the Braves' 9-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday, but had more to say about his mother who came to Philadelphia to surprise him for the occassion than he had to say of his own accomplishment.

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PHILADELPHIA -- "My momma is slick," Brandon Phillips said after becoming the 12th active player to reach 2,000 hits.

The veteran infielder had pushed a bloop single to right-center in the Braves' 9-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday, but had more to say about his mother who came to Philadelphia to surprise him for the occassion than he had to say of his own accomplishment.

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"I'm going to get on my momma for that," Phillips said laughing. "She can't be doing that. But it feels good to look up there and see my mom in the stands. That's a beautiful woman right there, and I just thank her all the time. For her to come support me there's nothing better than that."

Phillips' mom Lue had traveled from Georgia to Philly for Tuesday's game because her son sat poised at 1,999 career hits after Monday's series opener. But Tuesday's contest was rained out, and Lue kept her mouth closed and the surprise was just that.

Tweet from @Braves: .@DatDudeBP made history today and his Mom was here to see it! pic.twitter.com/JKoNpfIsFl

"I went over there and gave her a hug," Phillips said. "I saw the little sign she had, it was cute. Just seeing my mom out there with the sign that was priceless."

For Phillips, the accomplishment is a tribute to his resiliency and health. Since his tenure in Cincinnati began in 2006, Phillips has played fewer than 140 games just once, in 2014. In the last 11 years, he's had fewer than 580 plate appearances just once when he had 499 in 2014.

"For the guys in Cincinnati who kept me on the field and the guys here at the Braves that kept me on the field, for me to go out and do that, I've got to thank everybody who kept me on the field for me to reach this milestone," Phillips said.

"I'm really happy for him," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I mean it just says a lot about his career. It's just amazing to me -- and Nick Markakis got his -- just how long you've got to play this game and how hard it is and such a grind to get 2,000 hits. And when you think about the guys that get 3,000 is even more astonishing to me."

Phillips became the second Brave this season to reach the 2,000-hit mark, after Markakis did on Aug. 4. Markakis was the 10th active player with 2,000 base knocks, and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez accomplished the feat on Aug 22.

Phillips is the fifth primary second baseman -- although he is playing third base currently -- to join the 2,000-hit, 200-home run, and 200-stolen base club, joining Craig Biggio, Roberto Alomar Jr., Joe Morgan, and Ryne Sandberg.

As a bonus, Phillips got to fully enjoy the milestone as it came amidst a blowout win, Atlanta's first in Philadelphia this season in nine tries.

"Hell yeah that feels good," Phillips said. "You don't want to get your 2,000th hit like that and lose. You're sitting in your chair like, 'Damn I finally did it,' and everybody else is like, 'Damn we lost.' So it feels good just to win."

Phillips didn't even want to know how far he was from the milestone before he reached it. Baseball players can be like that.

"I don't want to know how many hits I need because I know I'm the type of person where I'll think about it," he said. "I don't like getting jinxed."

Just one problem. Phillips didn't let the milestone jinx him before he reached it, but maybe it did after?

"I ain't going to lie to you, I'm still kind of mad," Phillips said. "They took my bat and ever since they took my bat I didn't get a hit, I went 0-for-5 after that. So I might have to go get that bat back. I don't know who's got it but I'm going to go find it."

Now that the moment has come and gone, Phillips has his sights set on the very milestone that seemed so unfathomable to his manager.

"I've still got 1,000 more hits to go," he said.

He might need that bat after all.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Atlanta Braves, Brandon Phillips