Baker put Paul in left field and in the sixth slot in the lineup for his first start in a Reds uniform, resting regular outfielders Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick. Paul responded with a 3-for-5 night at the plate in Cincinnati's 4-2 comeback victory.
Paul picked up two RBIs, one in the sixth inning on an infield single and the other in the ninth inning on a single through the right side of the infield. He picked up his first Reds hit with a single in the second, followed that with a stolen base and he made a terrific heads-up play to throw out Marwin Gonzalez at third base in the fourth.
Before the game, Baker cited a number of reasons for wanting to get Paul, called up to the Reds on July 18, a start.
He said Paul's productivity at Triple-A this season merited more than pinch-hit duty. After being signed to a Minor League contract by the Reds on July 11, Paul batted .480 (12-for-25) for Triple-A Louisville. In 213 at-bats with Triple-A Syracuse, a Nationals affiliate, earlier in the season, Paul hit .315/.376/.512.
"He was hitting the ball great in Triple-A when he was playing every day," Baker said.
The manager also factored Monday night's long game -- it lasted 3 hours and 56 minutes -- into his decision to rest Heisey and Ludwick.
"Ludwick's played consecutive games and a long game, Heisey's played consecutive days," Baker said. "Like I said, we've got to keep these guys fresh and strong."
The fact that Paul is from Slidell, La., 350 miles from Houston, also played into Baker's decision to start the 27-year-old. Paul said he had some family members at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.
Paul, whose previous start came on Sept. 28, 2011, with the Pirates, entered Monday 0-for-3 with the Reds in three pinch-hit plate appearances. He batted .254/.293/.349 in 232 at-bats for the Pirates in 2011.