Baker tells Phillips not to ease up

Updated: May 5, 2010, 4:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Dusty Baker had another talk with second baseman Brandon Phillips about playing hard all the time.

Phillips
Phillips

Phillips doubled off the outfield wall during a 5-4 loss to the Mets on Tuesday night. He apparently thought the ball was going to clear the wall, and didn't run all-out at first. Baker believes he could have gotten a triple if he'd run hard the whole way.

Baker said on Wednesday that he talks to Phillips "quite often" about not easing up. Baker believes Phillips could be a difference-maker each day, and compared the situation to an A-caliber student getting Bs.

Phillips didn't want to talk about it on Wednesday.

However, Phillips did hustle in the first inning of Wednesday's afternoon game against the Mets, sliding head-first for an infield hit. He also hit an opposite-field home run against New York Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese in the game.

Phillips, who became a member of the 30-home run/30-stolen base club in 2007, had back-to-back 20-home run/20-stolen base seasons in 2008 and 2009.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.