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Brandon Phillips (hammy) returns to Reds’ starting lineup

Apr 15, 2012, 11:09 AM EST

phillips ap AP

Because of left hamstring cramps, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips hasn’t appeared in a game since signing his six-year, $72.5 million contract extension early last week. But that will change Sunday in the nation’s capital.

According to the Reds’ official Twitter account, Phillips is batting leadoff and starting at second base this afternoon against the first-place Nationals.

Phillips, 30, is off to a 4-for-16 (.250) start this year.

He batted .300/.353/.457 with 18 home runs, 82 RBI and 14 steals last season while playing his usual brand of elite defense at second base.

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