Taveras is batting .275 with two doubles, a triple, and six stolen bases. He leads the team in runs scored and stolen bases. He's scored at least one run in nine of 15 appearances.
Taveras, who did not play Opening Day due to the flu, tripled as a pinch-hitter the following game and has started every contest since.
"I have a lot of respect for Dusty as a manager," said Taveras. "I'm never going to ask for a day off, but I've got to be thankful for it. We need to keep guys fresh, and I want to stay healthy."
Taveras is expected to be back in the lineup on Sunday afternoon for the series finale. Right-hander Micah Owings (0-2, 5.59 ERA) will be looking for his first victory for Cincinnati.
Baker said he knew little about Taveras when the Reds signed him to a two-year contract in December.
The skipper consulted Reds scout Jamie Quirk, who served as the Rockies' bench coach while Taveras played in Colorado, to get a take on the 27-year-old veteran.
"That's how you learn about a guy, you ask questions," said Baker. "[Quirk] said Taveras will never ask for a day off. You have to go get him."
CIN: RHP Micah Owings (0-2, 5.59 ERA)
In a 7-2 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday, Owings worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs, two earned, on five hits. He walked four and struck out three. After a slow start, he cruised through the third and fourth innings before hitting a wall in the fifth. Consecutive one-out walks were followed by an error that led to three runs, chasing him from the mound. In two career starts vs. Atlanta, Owings is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA.
ATL: RHP Kenshin Kawakami (1-2, 4.76 ERA)
Since winning his Major League debut on April 11, Kawakami has gone winless in the two starts that have followed. The 33-year-old right-hander has been able to keep opponents off balance with a slow curve that has helped him notch 17 strikeouts in 17 innings. He surrendered one homer in each of his first three starts, and his 10 walks further indicate he isn't showing the same kind of control he exhibited while pitching in Japan.
Reds manager Dusty Baker plans to give Alex Gonzalez a day off on Sunday. Baker said he believes Gonzalez, who missed all of last season with a compression fracture of the left knee, is getting stronger. The 32-year-old shortstop hit just .140 in his first 13 games, but has a season-high four-game hitting streak, including his 1,000th career hit recorded in the fourth inning on Friday. He hit his first home run of the season in the second inning on Saturday. ... Infielder Adam Rosales continued his hot hitting at Triple-A Louisville, going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored in a 5-4 victory over Toledo on Friday. Rosales currently has an eight-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 13 of 14 games.
Buy tickets now
to catch the game in person.
On the Internet
Official game notes
Monday: Reds (Johnny Cueto, 1-1, 2.55) vs. Astros (Roy Oswalt, 0-2, 4.68), 7:10 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Reds (Aaron Harang, 2-2, 2.00) vs. Astros (Wandy Rodriguez, 1-2, 1.80), 7:10 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Reds (Edinson Volquez, 2-2, 6.20) vs. Astros (Felipe Paulino, 0-1, 3.00), 7:10 p.m. ET