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Phillips looking to snap out of offensive funk

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It hasn't been a robust spring offensively for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who was batting .161 with a .235 on-base percentage entering Monday's Cactus League action against the Indians.

On Sunday vs. the A's, however, Phillips crushed a two-run homer in the seventh inning with a nice swing that left no doubt the ball was clearing the left-field fence. It was the game-winner in a 7-6 victory.

"It was terrific for a multitude of reasons. No. 1, it was nice to see him really barrel up a pitch and drive it," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Phillips struggled offensively down the stretch last season, partly because of the effects of being hit by a pitch on his left forearm on June 1. After considering multiple options, Phillips and the team decided against surgery.

Instead, Phillips went the route of therapy and rehabilitation.

"Since he's been here when he was hitting, it's been a non-issue," Price said. "I think it's more of a timing thing. He's seeing the ball really well. Talking to him, he feels like he's going out trying to get pitches a little bit early in his swing. It's just a matter of seeing more pitches, having more at-bats and getting his timing down. I couldn't be less concerned about his spring offense to this point."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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