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Phillips dazzles with pair of sparkling plays vs. Padres

Gold Glove second baseman also extends hitting streak to 5 games

CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to five games in Friday's 6-2 loss to the Padres, with a 1-for-3 performance, but it was his play in the field that stole the attention of fans.

Phillips, a four-time Gold Glove award winner, made a pair of dazzling defensive plays on Friday, robbing two Padres of hits.

Phillips' first star defensive play came in the seventh inning when he was able to stop a ball from rolling through the gap between first and second base. Phillips snagged the grounder hit by Will Venable, and flipped it to pitcher Pedro Villarreal, who was running to cover first base, just in time to beat the runner.

Phillips' second masterful play of the night came in the eighth inning when he robbed Will Middlebrooks of a hit and started a double play. Middlebrooks hit a sharp grounder up the middle, and Phillips was able to slide in time to get his glove on the ball and quickly convert an around-the-back toss to Zack Cozart for the first leg of the 4-6-3 double play.

While neither play necessarily had any bearing on the final outcome of the game, Reds manager Bryan Price recognized Phillips' strong defensive play and was glad fans celebrated the Phillips' crafty work.

"He's terrific," Price said. "What I really liked is how much the fans appreciated that double play there with him and Cozart. For a game where we're down 6-2 and really nothing is going on much to get the fans excited, they acknowledged a great play. For those who were still here to watch the game and fireworks, they'll be glad they stayed. It was a phenomenal play."

Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for
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