Notes: Livingston gets the call

Notes: Livingston gets the call

LOS ANGELES -- Cincinnati fans who were anticipating a Mother's Day surprise this Sunday in the form of Reds' top Minor League prospect Homer Bailey will have to wait a while longer to see him in a Major League uniform.

Reds manager Jerry Narron confirmed on Friday afternoon that southpaw Bobby Livingston will get the start in the series finale against the Dodgers in place of the injured Eric Milton, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a sprained left elbow.

Livingston, who is 0-3 with a 3.22 ERA for the Triple-A Louisville Bats, will be making his first Major League start. The lefty briefly saw time with the Seattle Mariners last season, getting into three games in a relief role.

"He pitched well in the spring, and he's pitched well in Triple-A," said Narron. "I really liked the way he competed in the spring, and he did everything he could to make the club. [Matt] Belisle just barely beat him out for that fifth-starter's role."

Livingston will arrive in Los Angeles on Saturday and will be pitching on normal rest.

If he pitches well, he should see additional starts, with Milton expected to miss a minimum of three turns in the rotation.

In addition to Bailey, lefty Phil Dumatrait was considered for the callup, but the Reds decided on Livingston in the end.

Guardado update: Reds left-hander Eddie Guardado continues to progress quickly in his rehab from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

Guardado, who saved eight games for the Reds in 2006, threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday in addition to 20 pitches off a mound.

"It was a lot better than the first time out," said Guardado. "The hitters were telling me the ball had that zip at the end of it. I'm not going to throw 95, but as long as I have that zip, I'll be OK."

Guardado threw fastballs in addition to all his breaking pitches from full distance.

Narron stopped short of revealing a specific timetable for Guardado's rehab schedule, but the manager did say that he hopes Guardado will be ready for a Minor League rehab assignment at the beginning of Cincinnati's next road trip, which starts on May 29 in Houston.

Guardado was pleased when he heard of the plan.

"[Narron] knows more than me about it, but that sounds good to me."

Guardado will throw again on Monday, when the Reds arrive in San Diego, and then on Friday, when the team arrives in Cleveland to conclude its current road trip.

Homecoming all around: The Reds' trek to Los Angeles was a little more than a standard road trip for some of the players.

Four current Reds players are from California -- starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (Chico), infielder Jeff Conine (Rialto), relief pitcher Kirk Saarloos (Long Beach) and starting pitcher Aaron Harang (San Diego).

Lohse, whose parents will be in attendance for his start on Saturday, has never pitched in Dodger Stadium, but he looks forward to the opportunity.

"It's a special feeling anytime you pitch for the first time in a stadium, especially an older ballpark like Dodger Stadium," said Lohse.

Saarloos, who grew up about an hour south of Dodger Stadium, made a start there during his rookie year with the Astros, but he said it still feels special whenever he comes home to Southern California.

"It's kind of surreal," Saarloos said. "I grew up a Dodger fan more so than an Angel fan, and my grandpa had season tickets at Dodger Stadium right after they moved from Brooklyn. I still love coming here."

Hopper gets the start: Norris Hopper made his second start of the season on Friday night. He led off and played the outfield in place of Josh Hamilton, who got a scheduled night off.

"Tonight is the perfect time [to rest Hamilton]," said Narron. "There is a lefty on the mound, and we need to keep our bench players sharp."

Ryan Freel was a late scratch with the flu. Juan Castro hit seventh and played third base.

Coming up: Lohse (1-3, 3.21 ERA) will take the mound at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night in a 10:10 ET matchup with the Dodgers. Brad Penny (4-0, 1.39 ERA) will start for Los Angeles.

Richie Brand is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.