Brandon Phillips returns to lineup after four-game absence

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As first reported by Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is back in the Cincinnati starting lineup on Sunday afternoon for the first time since suffering a bruised left elbow when he was hit by a pitch last Tuesday.

Phillips, 30, has registered a .287/.333/.424 triple slash line with 11 home runs and 63 RBI in 489 plate appearances this year for the third-place Reds. He is batting third and playing second in Sunday’s series finale against Padres left-hander Wade LeBlanc.

The Reds have won four straight but remain 10 games back of the Brewers in the National League Central.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.