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Schumaker glad to finally contribute after layoff

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BOSTON -- Reds outfielder Skip Schumaker was itching to make his first offensive contribution for the team. It took until his third game back from the disabled list on Tuesday, when he notched an RBI single to center field in the second inning and a two-out single up the middle in the fourth during a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in 12 innings.

"You're waiting for that first one, that's for sure," Schumaker said before the game Wednesday, who then belted a two-run homer in the third inning. "I don't care if it's a bloop or a broken bat, you want to get that first one out of the way and get settled in. Luckily for me, it fell in at the right time with someone on base."

Schumaker, who began the season on the DL after dislocating his left shoulder during a March 21 Cactus League game, hit the ball hard a few times -- even when he grounded into a double play to second baseman Dustin Pedroia in the sixth inning.

"I feel like I am close. It was so much time off, you just don't know," Schumaker said. "Minor League rehab is a little bit different than the big leagues."

In the fourth inning, Schumaker's shoulder got a test when he dove for Jackie Bradley Jr.'s liner to center field and knocked it down for a single. Schumaker is not afraid of the risk to his shoulder to make a play.

"At this point, you just have to go for it," said Schumaker, who led off and played center field for Billy Hamilton on Wednesday. "If something happens, it happens. I can't worry about it while I'm playing. On my rehab stint, I was thinking about not diving to be honest with you. I wasn't going to have anything happen down there. I don't anticipate anything happening up here. With the rehab and everything, I feel like I can do almost anything."

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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