HOUSTON -- The last time the Reds faced Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez this season, manager Dusty Baker decided to start Chris Heisey over regular right fielder Jay Bruce.
Bruce, 2-for-29 against the left-hander for his career, didn't start again on Monday against Rodriguez. Heisey took Bruce's spot in right field, like he did on June 2 at Minute Maid Park, and batted seventh. He entered Monday's game 4-for-11 against Rodriguez with a homer and three RBIs.
Baker said Bruce, originally from Beaumont, Texas, didn't lobby to start.
"When I say no, it's usually no," Baker said. "And he knows."
Monday was just the second time this season that both of the Reds' All-Star hitters, Bruce and Joey Votto, were out of the lineup. Votto has been on the disabled list since July 17 as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn medial meniscus in his left knee. The duo also didn't start on July 17 against the D-backs.
"This is time for some of the extra guys to play, to stay sharp and to keep my regular guys strong," Baker said. "The dog days are right around the corner."
After the three-game series with the Astros, the Reds have an off-day on Thursday before playing 17 games in 17 days.