CINCINNATI -- Rich Aurilia was frustrated to find himself in a utility role when he came back from the disabled list. Then he finally started hitting well, and the frustration mounted. Aurilia was batting just .198 when he went on the 15-day DL with a strained hamstring last month. In the seven games since his return, he's hit .333 with two homers and six RBIs.
It's no secret that the veteran isn't all that pleased to have lost his regular job to Felipe Lopez while he was on the DL. "I've never been at a place where you've been judged after 92, 94 or 96 at-bats," he said. "If that's what was done here, well, then I saw something new. But, you know, for me to come back now and swing the bat well, if anything, it's good for my own psyche." Forget psyche. What Aurilia is doing might be good for his trade value. Playing on a one-year contract, he knows he's the type of guy who might get shipped from this club before next month's trading deadline. "All I really can control is my performance on the field when I play," he said. "They [the front office] know the situation here. The best I can do for myself right now is play well." Aurilia certainly played well in Thursday night's mauling of the Devil Rays. He went 3-for-5 with two runs, a double and an RBI in his second three-hit game of the season. But the regular shortstop job belongs to Lopez now, as the numbers indicate it should. Lopez and his .299 average were back in the starting lineup for Friday's series opener against the Orioles. And so, Aurilia's frustration builds. "I can play every day," he said. "I know I can. Especially [Thursday] night, I showed I'm healthy. My main concern is going out and playing well. [Thursday] night, I had the opportunity to do that, and I did some little things that helped us win the ballgame. I guess I'm in a situation now where I have to do that whenever I'm called upon." Hall of Fame weekend: Outfielder Eric Davis and right-hander Jose Rijo will be on hand Saturday for their induction into the Reds Hall of Fame. Also being inducted will be 19th-century stars Harry Wright and George Wright. The ceremony will take place before Saturday's 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Orioles. The event will begin at 6:35 p.m. Davis and Rijo were voted into the Hall by Reds fans this past winter. Davis, a two-time All-Star, spent nine of his 17 seasons with the Reds, finishing his career with a .269 batting average, 282 home runs, 934 RBIs and 349 stolen bases. Rijo, an All-Star in 1994, spent 10 of his 14 seasons with the Reds. He owns a career record of 116-91 with a 3.24 ERA. He's best remembered for going 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA to earn MVP honors in the 1990 World Series sweep of the A's. The Wright brothers were selected by the Hall of Fame veterans' committee. Harry Wright served as captain of the Red Stockings from 1866-70. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as an executive in 1953. George Wright played shortstop for the Red Stockings for two seasons. He hit .633 in 1869 and .536 in 1870. He went into the Hall of Fame as an executive in 1937.
Shake it off: Josh Hancock had been anticipating his return to the mound for months. What he didn't anticipate was what happened Tuesday night at Triple-A Louisville.
Making his first rehab appearance in a comeback from a strained right groin, the right-hander gave up a whopping 10 runs on 15 hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.
It may have been just a rehab outing, but it was a big deal to Hancock.
"Everybody says, 'As long as you're healthy ...,'" he said. "Well, it matters to me."
Hancock admitted he wasn't at his best.
"I didn't feel comfortable at all," he said. "I'm healthy, but I just didn't feel any rhythm."
Hancock will get another chance Sunday, when he makes his second rehab start in Louisville.
Reds report: The Reds scored 34 runs in their sweep of the Devil Rays, their highest three-game series total since May 17-19, 1999, at Coors Field (36 runs) and their highest three-game series total at home since May 26-28, 1898, against the New York Giants (36 runs). ... This weekend's series at Great American Ball Park features three of the top 20 home-run hitters of all-time, including Ken Griffey Jr. (510), Sammy Sosa (580) and Rafael Palmeiro (559). Friday's game marked the first time in big-league history that three players with at least 500 home runs appeared in the same game. ... First-round draft pick Jay Bruce signed with the Reds on Friday afternoon.
Down on the farm: Shortstops Anderson Machado and Ray Olmedo officially joined Louisville to begin their rehab assignments. Machado is coming back from a left knee injury, while Olmedo's returning from an elbow injury. Machado, though, had an immediate setback in his first game with the Bats on Friday night. He left in the top of the fifth inning with pain in his left knee. ... Right-hander Jared Fernandez (3-4) allowed just one run on four hits over seven innings to get the win in the Bats' 5-1 victory over Charlotte on Thursday. ... Jeff Bannon's three-run home run wasn't enough to get Double-A Chattanooga a win over Huntsville. The Lookouts lost by a 4-3 count. ... Class A Sarasota split a doubleheader with Dunedin. Right-hander Daniel Rincon (1-2) took the loss in Game 1, while right-hander Erik Lohse (6-1) earned the win in relief in the nightcap.
On deck: The Reds and Orioles continue their weekend Interleague series Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Left-hander Brandon Claussen (2-3, 4.50 ERA) will start against right-hander Daniel Cabrera (5-4, 5.10).
|Josh Hancock / P|
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.