Baker picking his spots with Heisey

Baker picking his spots with Heisey

ATLANTA -- Although he hit a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning to tie Wednesday night's eventual 5-4 loss to the Braves, hot-hitting rookie Chris Heisey didn't get the start on Thursday.

Instead, it was Layne Nix who replaced Jonny Gomes in left field as Dusty Baker went with a left-handed hitter against Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson.

Bothered by back spasms earlier, Nix's only previous appearance since May 10 was as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday.

Baker has used Heisey cautiously since he was called up from Louisville at the end of April, but the right-handed hitter has a .353 average and two homers in his 17 at-bats. He has started three games.

"I want to match him up against guys that I think he has a great chance to hit," Baker said.

With the designated hitter used this weekend in Cleveland, Baker will do more mixing and matching with his outfielders. Gomes was the Reds' DH for all nine games at American League parks last season.