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Hannahan, Izturis deliver big in rare starts

Hannahan, Izturis deliver big in rare starts

Hannahan, Izturis deliver big in rare starts

CINCINNATI -- Lineup changes aren't always about the players sitting out. Sometimes, they're as much or more about the player going in.

That was the case for the Reds Saturday against the Mariners in the second game of their Interleague series at Great American Ball Park. Jack Hannahan started at third base and batted sixth -- spots normally filled by Todd Frazier -- while Cesar Izturis started in place of Zack Cozart at shortstop and batted seventh.

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"These guys need playing time," manager Dusty Baker said. "It's not always about rest."

Baker's mini-shakeup produced maximum results for the Reds. Izturis doubled his season RBI total by driving in three while going 2-for-4 with a double, while Hannahan set season highs with three hits and two RBIs in Cincinnati's 13-4 win.

Izturis, who drove in three runs in one game for the first time since May 19, 2010, for Baltimore, gave Baker credit for helping the non-regulars prepare by letting them know a day ahead of time that they were starting.

"Dusty's always good about letting you know, and that's good, especially when you don't play every day," he said. "It's definitely all mental. We've got people here who can help us prepare. It's not that easy, but we know what we're here for."

Hannahan and Izturis aren't likely to make many starts after Saturday, Baker said.

"You're talking two weeks [between possible starts]," Baker said. "You try not to let them go too, too long."

Saturday's start was Izturis's 16th of the season and first since filling in for second baseman Brandon Phillips during a two-game series at Oakland June 25-26 while Phillips was on paternity leave. Hannahan's start was his 14th and 11th at third base.

After going 0-for-4 in Cincinnati's 4-2 loss to the Mariners on Friday, Cozart was 2-for-14 on the homestand with one hit in his last 12 at-bats, dropping his overall average from .246 to .240. On the other hand, Frazier's double in his first at-bat on Friday extended his hitting streak to five games (6-for-19, .316).

Mark Schmetzer is a contributor to MLB.com. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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