05/05/2013 7:38 PM ET
Phillips exits Sunday game after outfield collision
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and center fielder Shin-Soo Choo were involved in a fifth-inning outfield collision during Sunday's 7-4 win over the Cubs. While Choo appeared to come away with only a fat lip, Phillips exited in the eighth inning when manager Dusty Baker came out of the dugout and took him off of the field. Cesar Izturis replaced Phillips and quickly fielded a grounder.
"He couldn't see," Baker said of Phillips. "I took him out. He said he couldn't see that ball on the sacrifice fly that he hit [in the seventh]. When a guy says he can't see, especially with all the left-handed hitters coming up, the next play would have been to Brandon. We have to protect these guys. There's a long way to go. I think he's OK. We'll see."
When asked how he felt after the game, Phillips was quiet and somewhat elusive.
"I'm living," Phillips said. "Whatever Dusty says, that's what happened."
In the fifth, following back-to-back singles against Mat Latos, Alfonso Soriano hit a fly to shallow center field. Choo came running in for the ball as Phillips backpedaled before the two collided. The ball skipped off of Phillips' glove and hit Choo's face for what was ruled a two-run double.
"It looked ugly there, but this wind plays havoc with the ball," Baker said. "I saw Choo break back, and I knew we were in trouble."
Both players needed time to be looked over by trainers before continuing. There was a lot of crowd noise from the 33,449 fans as the play developed, but it wasn't clear who called for the ball.
"I go out there as far as I can to try and catch every ball until somebody says 'I've got it,'" Phillips said. "It happened between me and Drew Stubbs a couple of years ago, the same thing happened. It happened again today. But things happen. I'm just happy we had a great road trip. I will be OK. I'm happy we won the game and won the [road] series for the first time. ... I play hurt all the time. Things happen. I will be in there tomorrow."
Heisey progressing steadily toward return date
CHICAGO -- Injured Reds left fielder Chris Heisey is making progress with the strained right hamstring that put him on the 15-day disabled list on April 29.
"Things are going good," Heisey said Sunday morning. "My leg is feeling better every day. Everything is progressing like I was hoping."
There remains no timetable for a return, but Heisey is eligible for activation on May 13.
"I'm optimistic that I will be ready to go," Heisey said.
Heisey hurt himself on April 27 at Washington trying to beat out a double play. He was struggling at the time, batting .173 with two home runs and five RBIs in 23 games.
With the team on a road trip, Heisey has been running on the field and pushing himself on the exercise bike inside the visitor's clubhouse at Wrigley Field.
"The only thing I haven't really done is sprinting. I've jogged and done a hard jog, but I haven't wanted to test it yet. I've been hitting and swinging feels great."
Baker, Chapman both maintain positive outlook
CHICAGO -- Even after Reds closer Aroldis Chapman threw 32 pitches and gave up three runs in a non-save situation vs. the Cubs on Friday, manager Dusty Baker did not hesitate in using Chapman for the save on Saturday.
"I've always believed that you have to get them right back in there the sooner you can, so it doesn't linger and doesn't fester in their minds," Baker said. "I was just hoping it wouldn't take too many pitches while he was doing it."
Chapman was not able to finish Friday's 6-5 win, as he gave up four hits and two walks that resulted in three runs. J.J. Hoover came in to record the save.
On Saturday, Chapman threw 19 pitches with a one-out walk during a scoreless ninth for his seventh save during a 6-4 victory.
"I took it easy. What happened, happened," said Chapman via translator Tomas Vera. "I took the opportunity he gave me Saturday to save the game. I did what I was supposed to do."
Chapman, who has a 2.40 ERA in 16 appearances with six walks and 22 strikeouts, was not worried after having a rare bad outing.
"It was nothing, what happened the other day," Chapman said. "I have a positive mind, and I didn't feel anything. It's happened before."
• Reds leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo hit a home run on the first pitch of Saturday's game vs. the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija. Choo has two leadoff homers this season, both coming on the first pitch.