CINCINNATI -- Turns out, Homer Bailey has never actually been to Saltillo, Mexico, but he has read about it.
The Cincinnati right-hander had writers searching the Internet for the correct spelling of the town's name after saying he'd been "bit harder by bedbugs" there while describing his brush with a line drive during the Reds' 4-0 win over Cleveland on Thursday.
"That's a line from 'Lonesome Dove,'" Bailey said before Friday's game. "That's my favorite book and movie."
The mark on Bailey's right cheek and neck left by Indians shortstop Jose Ramirez's fifth-inning liner -- which the pitcher was able to slow down with his glove -- had virtually disappeared, but some soreness still lingered.
"Talking to y'all and chewing at the same time doesn't make it feel so good," said Bailey, who improved to 9-5 with a 3.71 ERA with his fourth straight quality start. His next start is scheduled for Wednesday against Boston in the finale of Cincinnati's seven-game homestand.
Manager Bryan Price credited better "pitch execution" with Bailey's recent surge, during which his ERA has fallen just over a half a run from 4.22.
"There was a point in time earlier in the season when we thought he might've been tipping his pitches earlier, but that's been addressed," Price said.
Bailey didn't disagree with Price's assessment, but he also allowed for a change in fortune.
"Early in the season, the balls were falling in," he said. "Now, they're falling into gloves.
"I'm locating my fastball really well. I guess you could say all the things that I'm supposed to do, I'm doing a lot of them."
Mark Schmetzer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less