Phillies fire hitting coach Milt Thompson

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies have fired hitting coach Milt Thompson and replaced him with former outfielder Greg Gross.

Thompson supplanted Gross as batting coach in 2004 and has been part of consecutive National League championship teams the past two years.

But the Phillies, still missing injured slugger Chase Utley, have slipped offensively this season. After a 2-0 victory in 11 innings against St. Louis on Thursday they are 49-46 and seven games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.

The 57-year-old Gross has been a coach for Triple-A Lehigh Valley the past three seasons and served as the Phillies‘ major league batting coach from 2002-04.

He played 10 years for the Phillies (1979-88) and reached two World Series.

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