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Votto's day off leads to revised battery

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The need to give first baseman Joey Votto a day off on Friday meant that manager Bryan Price had to also adjust his battery vs. the Giants.

Backup catcher Brayan Pena, who usually works with ace Johnny Cueto, started at first base in place of Votto, and the hot-hitting Devin Mesoraco was behind the plate.

"We've been doing a lot of good things offensively lately," Price said. "We had earmarked today as a day off for Joey. I didn't feel like we could take Joey and Mes out of the lineup the same day."

Votto started 16 straight games since coming off the disabled list on June 10 after recovering from a strained left quadriceps. Price wanted to get him rest to prevent a potential recurrence of the injury.

Price, who doesn't have a true backup first baseman, doesn't plan on breaking up the Cueto-Pena combo much the rest of the season.

"I think we would still anticipate Brayan catching Johnny for the bulk of his starts moving forward," Price said.

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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