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Pena starts in place of hot-hitting Mesoraco

Pena starts in place of hot-hitting Mesoraco

PITTSBURGH -- Although Devin Mesoraco is riding a career-best 10-game hitting streak entering Tuesday, backup catcher Brayan Pena started behind the plate with Johnny Cueto pitching for the Reds against the Pirates.

Pena worked very well with Cueto in his previous start on Thursday, which was a three-hit complete-game shutout over Pittsburgh.

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"And he needs to play, too," manager Bryan Price said of Pena, who entered the night batting .308 in 10 games. "We didn't bring him over here to catch one out of every 10 or 15 games. Devin is swinging the bat unbelievably well and doing a great job behind the plate. But we want him to be healthy and strong all year, and we want Brayan to also be sharp when we need him. The relationship between he and Johnny is good, but I'm not at all afraid to use Devin with Johnny either."

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

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