Baker goes against the numbers, plays Bruce

Baker goes against the numbers, plays Bruce

CINCINNATI -- Jay Bruce's lifetime numbers going into Friday against Astros lefty starter Wandy Rodriguez were most definitely not in his favor. The Reds right fielder came in 1-for-26 with 13 strikeouts.

Reds manager Dusty Baker decided to move Bruce from fifth to seventh in the lineup and moved up left fielder Ryan Ludwick.

"I wrestled with not playing him. I've sat him a couple of times against Wandy," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

One reason the manager played Bruce was his recent hitting tear -- including a .393 average (11-for-28) over his last seven games. He hit a two-run home run on Thursday vs. the Giants also.

"Those two guys are going to be playing each other for a long time," Baker said. "They're both relatively young. It's a pride thing. You don't want people to keep having your number. If I don't play him, he'll keep having that number. The only way to break that number is to play and try to figure him out. Hopefully the law of averages is on his side."