Early duel with Cardinals turns ugly

Early duel with Cardinals turns ugly

ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina's three-run double off Reds ace Johnny Cueto in the seventh inning broke open a tie game and sent the Cardinals on their way to a 6-1 victory in Friday night's series opener at Busch Stadium.

Both Cueto and Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha allowed first-inning runs, and the score remained 1-1 until the seventh. Wacha stranded a runner at third to close the top half of that frame, but Cueto couldn't match the damage control. Following his leadoff single, Matt Holliday moved to third when Jhonny Peralta bounced a hit over the glove of Reds left fielder Marlon Byrd.

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Jenifer Langosch and Mark Sheldon are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bailey hopes smooth rehab translates to productive debut

Bailey hopes smooth rehab translates to productive debut

ST. LOUIS -- Homer Bailey had the good fortune of having a smooth and setback-free rehab after a major operation on his pitching arm. Not all pitchers are that fortunate.

Bailey will make his season debut on Saturday afternoon, when the Reds play the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. It will be his first regular-season start since Aug. 7 vs. the Indians. On Sept. 5, the right-hander had surgery to repair a torn tendon near his right elbow.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price doesn't expect bad blood during Cardinals series

Price doesn't expect bad blood during Cardinals series

ST. LOUIS -- On Sunday in Cincinnati following a frustrating loss of a game, and a series to the Cardinals, Reds manager Bryan Price made some pointed comments that called out St. Louis right fielder Jason Heyward for a late slide into third baseman Todd Frazier.

Price, who called it a "dirty slide" that "shouldn't happen without a response," did not expect the incident to be an issue to be as the two teams play another series this weekend. When asked about his comments, Price noted a response didn't necessary mean retribution toward Heyward.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mesoraco hopes to avoid trip to disabled list

With veteran limited to pinch-hit duty, Reds recall catcher Barnhart from Triple-A Louisville

Mesoraco hopes to avoid trip to disabled list

ST. LOUIS -- It appears the Reds are willing take some of what Devin Mesoraco can do rather than nothing at all. Following a three-game absence while the Reds were in Chicago, and he was in Cincinnati getting treatment for a sore left hip, the All-Star catcher rejoined the club at Busch Stadium on Friday.

However, Brayan Pena started a fourth straight game when the club opened the three-game series vs. the Cardinals. Mesoraco, battling a sore hip since playing all nine innings on Saturday, was available to come off the bench to hit on Friday, but he's not ready to catch in a game. The club is trying to avoid putting Mesoraco on the disabled list.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scuffling with bat, Byrd making highlight reels with glove

Scuffling with bat, Byrd making highlight reels with glove

CHICAGO -- The Reds traded for Marlon Byrd in the offseason for an offensive boost. While he has yet to take off at the plate, batting .147 with no home runs and three RBIs in nine games, he's been able to make some big contributions is a less expected way -- defensively.

Byrd has taken hits away and found his way on highlight videos with some nice plays. The 37-year-old takes pride in backing up the pitcher with quality defense.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds to reunite '90 World Series team at GABP

Former greats like Larkin and Davis will meet fans April 24-25

Reds to reunite '90 World Series team at GABP

ST. LOUIS -- The last World Series championship claimed by the Reds 25 years ago will be celebrated next weekend with more than 30 members of the 1990 team scheduled to appear at Great American Ball Park on April 24-25.

It was a wire-to-wire season for the Reds that year with the club in first place every day of the regular season. After beating the Pirates in six games for the National League Championship, Cincinnati defeated the A's in a four-game sweep for the World Series.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No. 42 jersey tribute began in 2007 with Griffey

Then with Reds, Junior first player granted permission to wear Jackie Robinson's number

No. 42 jersey tribute began in 2007 with Griffey

CHICAGO -- It's become an expectation that all Major League uniformed personnel wear No. 42 to pay homage to the most-respected player to ever wear that number -- Jackie Robinson -- on the day baseball pauses to pay homage to the legendary pioneer of social change.

But the genesis of the 42 movement began in the days and weeks before the Reds and Cubs played on Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2007, at Wrigley Field. Then Cincinnati's right fielder, Ken Griffey Jr. asked then-Commissioner Bud Selig and Robinson's widow, Rachel, for permission to wear No. 42 on what was the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats go cold, Marquis struggles in rubber match

Bats go cold, Marquis struggles in rubber match

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run homer, his first of the season, in the first inning to back Travis Wood and lead the Cubs to a 5-0 victory Wednesday over the Reds and take the series.

Wood gave up three hits over seven-plus innings, retiring the first 10 batters faced before he walked Joey Votto with one out in the fourth. The Cubs now have won two of their first three series; they did not win their first series last year until May 2-4.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marquis unable to recover as in season debut

Reds' starter surrenders 2 runs in each of first 2 innings against Cubs

Marquis unable to recover as in season debut

CHICAGO -- Unlike his season debut on Friday against the Cardinals, Reds starter Jason Marquis could not make an adjustment or course correction vs. the Cubs after a shaky first couple of innings.

After Marquis and the Reds went down early, they stayed down for a 5-0 loss to Chicago to drop two of three in the series. Lasting only four innings, a season low for the Cincinnati rotation, Marquis gave up all five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds recall reliever Villarreal after fingernail issue

Price calls righty 'true' bullpen arm; Smith sent to Triple-A in corresponding move

Reds recall reliever Villarreal after fingernail issue

CHICAGO -- The Reds made another roster move involving their bullpen on Wednesday, when right-handed reliever Pedro Villarreal was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. To make room on the 25-man roster, right-hander Josh Smith was optioned to Louisville.

Smith, who did not get into a game after he was called up Monday, was not on the 40-man roster prior to the promotion. By rule, the club could not have called up a player on the 40-man roster without a disabled list move until 10 days into the season, which was Wednesday. Smith, 27, was a starting pitcher on hand to provide long relief, just in case.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeSclafani spinning hits with new dance partner

Right-hander making offseason trade look good

DeSclafani spinning hits with new dance partner

CHICAGO -- When the Reds traded starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon in December, there were some big question marks hanging over their rotation entering the season. Quickly, Anthony DeSclafani is erasing some doubts.

DeSclafani, who came over from the Marlins in the Latos trade, has posted two quality starts in his two starts, both Reds victories. On Tuesday, the rookie also provided Cincinnati's rotation with its first victory of 2015 with seven scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over the Cubs.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Votto showing early signs of former self

First baseman appears rejuvenated at plate after injury-plagued season in 2014

Votto showing early signs of former self

CHICAGO -- Healthy again, Joey Votto is making pitchers pay.

Votto is doing it, as usual, his own cerebral way, with his brain guiding his bat. He's driving the ball without sacrificing the discipline that has given him the best on-base percentage among active players, by a wide margin.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips lightheaded after collision, passes concussion test

Initially hurt when Cubs' Castro falls on him

Phillips lightheaded after collision, passes concussion test

CHICAGO -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips exited Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Cubs when he complained of feeling lightheaded following a collision with shortstop Starlin Castro.

In a three-run fourth inning for Cincinnati, Phillips advanced from first base to third base on Jay Bruce's RBI single through the left side. As Phillips approached third base, where no one was covering, Castro backed into him and fell on top of him while trying to make a tag.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeSclafani goes 7 shutout innings in Reds win

DeSclafani goes 7 shutout innings in Reds win

CHICAGO -- Anthony DeSclafani threw seven shutout innings to outduel Jake Arrieta and lead the Reds to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the Cubs to even the series.

Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd each hit RBI singles in the fourth, which was all DeSclafani needed. Making his seventh career start, the right-hander gave up two hits -- a single by Jorge Soler with two outs in the fourth and an infield hit by Dexter Fowler with one out in the sixth -- over a career-high seven innings. More >

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeSclafani has glove and bat fly out of his hands

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DeSclafani has glove and bat fly out of his hands

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Earth's gravitational field turned off for just a moment? If the laws of physics ceased operations for the smallest of seconds?

Well, you're in luck. All you needed to do was watch Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani's start against the Cubs on Tuesday night when his baseballing accessories simply wouldn't remain attached to his hands.

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Mesoraco being treated for hip discomfort

Catcher in Cincinnati, could join club in St. Louis

Mesoraco being treated for hip discomfort

CHICAGO -- The Reds remained without All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco on Tuesday for the second game of their series against the Cubs. Because of discomfort in his left hip, Mesoraco stayed in Cincinnati after the conclusion of Sunday's homestand.

"He still has a bit of soreness," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Tuesday. "So he's continuing to do some rehab stuff in Cincinnati. It's a day-by-day thing. We hope to have him back soon."

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diaz, bullpen continue struggles late in game

Price believes relievers can straighten out as players settle into roles

Diaz, bullpen continue struggles late in game

CHICAGO -- Reds manager Bryan Price is trying to find the right bullpen chemistry in the late innings, but he's discovering just how combustible his elements are.

Eighth-inning leads seems to be particularly flammable. For the second-straight day, Jumbo Diaz blew a two-run lead in the eighth within his first two batters. In Monday's 7-6 loss to the Cubs in 10 innings, Diaz walked leadoff batter Anthony Rizzo before Jorge Soler blasted a 96-mph 0-2 fastball for a game-tying, two-run home run to center field.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen unable to hold off Cubs in extras

Bullpen unable to hold off Cubs in extras

CHICAGO -- For the second straight day, the Cubs rallied for a win, something they didn't do last season. Jorge Soler smacked a pair of two-run homers and Arismendy Alcantara delivered a walk-off RBI single with one out in the 10th, his first hit of the season, to power the Cubs to a 7-6, come-from-behind victory over the Reds on Monday night.

"When you start doing things like this, you believe you can win late, and that's really important," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's also really important to feel you can come from behind, which we've done two days in a row late. Those are two of the best things you can possibly get across to a young team. Yes, I've enjoyed it."

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamilton out vs. Cubs with finger injury

Hamilton out vs. Cubs with finger injury

CHICAGO -- With Cubs ace Jon Lester's struggles to stop the running game and Reds' leadoff man Billy Hamilton being one of the biggest basestealing threats in the game, Monday's series opener at Wrigley Field had the makings of a strong subplot.

It was not to be, however, as Hamilton was out of the starting lineup with a minor injury to his left index finger. Kristopher Negron started in center field and batted first in his place.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With Bailey's imminent return, Reds option Iglesias

Reliever Smith, catcher Skipworth called up to add depth

With Bailey's imminent return, Reds option Iglesias

CHICAGO -- With Homer Bailey ready to take his place in the rotation, the Reds optioned Raisel Iglesias to Triple-A Louisville -- one of multiple transactions the club made on Monday. It included adding catching depth with All-Star Devin Mesoraco dealing with left hip discomfort.

Bailey is expected to start on Saturday at St. Louis after he worked in a rehab assignment game for Louisville on Sunday. Iglesias, who made his Major League debut vs. the Cardinals on Sunday with a 5 2/3-inning no-decision in Cincinnati's 7-5 loss in 11 innings, will continue work as a starter in the Minors.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds fall in 11th-inning battle with Cards

Reds fall in 11th-inning battle with Cards

CINCINNATI -- Matt Carpenter's two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning gave the Cardinals a 7-5 win over the Reds on Sunday at Great American Ball Park. St. Louis completed a 3-2 road trip by taking two of three from Cincinnati, which ended its home stand 4-2 with back-to-back losses in the series.

Reds reliever Kevin Gregg worked a five-pitch, and perfect, top of the 10th inning but could not keep the game tied in the 11th. Two batters after Kolten Wong hit a leadoff single to right field, Carpenter attacked a 3-2 fastball that was belt-high and over the plate and deposited it into the right-center-field seats. It was Carpenter's first homer of the season and he finished with four RBIs.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iglesias on debut: 'I just believe in my stuff'

Reds phenom encouraged after mixed bag in MLB debut

Iglesias on debut: 'I just believe in my stuff'

CINCINNATI -- Early in his Major League debut for the Reds on Sunday, Raisel Iglesias seemed to have elements of unfamiliarity and unpredictability working in his favor.

That was before the Cardinals made adjustments, however. Iglesias, 25, gave up three earned runs on five hits over five innings in a 7-5 St. Louis win in 11 innings. He walked two and struck out four in a no-decision. All of Iglesias' trouble came after he retired 11 of his first 12 batters, but he felt he had a good introduction to Reds fans.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price airs frustrations after loss to Cardinals

Several calls, hard slide irk Reds manager during rubber game

Price airs frustrations after loss to Cardinals

CINCINNATI -- You know what really grinded Reds manager Bryan Price's gears following his club's 7-5 loss to the Cardinals in 11 innings on Sunday? Plenty.

Price already had the disappointment of losing a game and series that were winnable. But he was also irritated about being ejected by crew chief Joe West, seeing a St. Louis replay challenge go against the Reds and watching a late slide into one of his players.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fan hit by foul ball during Reds-Cards game

Fan hit by foul ball during Reds-Cards game

CINCINNATI -- A fan in the stands was injured when he was struck by a foul ball off the bat of Reds left fielder Marlon Byrd in the seventh inning of Saturday's 4-1 Cincinnati loss at Great American Ball Park.

With the Cards up 2-1, Byrd hit a line drive into the seats along the first-base line about 15 rows back of the field, making the count 0-2 on Byrd.

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Jason Haddix is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoover's emphasis on improvement paying off

After 10-loss season, reliever racks up two wins in first two appearances

Hoover's emphasis on improvement paying off

CINCINNATI -- It didn't take J.J. Hoover long to put his disappointing 2014 season out of his mind and turn his focus forward. His turn-the-page approach has paid early dividends in '15.

Hoover had made the Reds' 2014 Opening Day roster for the second straight year and earned the Reds' first win in the second game of the season against St. Louis.

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Jason Haddix is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.