In his career, Bruce is 2-for-29 against Rodriguez, striking out 15 times and never drawing a walk. Bruce also doesn't have an extra-base hit off the Astros lefty.
Baker said it was tough to sit Bruce, especially considering that he has family and friends in town for the game. Bruce is originally from Beaumont, which is 83 miles from Houston.
"I don't like sitting him, but sometimes -- what is he, 2-for-30 with 15 strikeouts? -- it's not good numbers," Baker said.
Bruce didn't talk with Baker before finding out that he wasn't in the lineup. He was disappointed to not start but respected Baker's decision and opinion. Bruce is available for pinch-hitting duties.
"I feel like I'm someone that can contribute every day," Bruce said.
Chris Heisey took Bruce's place in right field and in the fifth spot in the lineup. Heisey is 3-for-9 off Rodriguez in his career, with a double and a homer.
On April 27, the Reds also faced Rodriguez and the Astros. Bruce batted seventh in the lineup, two spots behind his usual position. He went 1-for-3 against Rodriguez in that game, striking out twice.