CINCINNATI -- The only bit of good news to come from the Reds' 8-0 loss to the Braves on Thursday was the healthy return of closer Aroldis Chapman, who threw a perfect eighth inning. The lefty struck out his first two batters and got a fly ball to center field.
Chapman hadn't pitched since Sunday's four-walk debacle in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Rockies, when it was revealed he had an achy shoulder.
Spot starter David Holmberg, called up from Triple-A Louisville, lasted only 2 2/3 innings.
The ninth inning was pitched by position player Skip Schumaker, who moved over from left field to take the mound. He worked a scoreless inning with one walk.
With Chapman and Schumaker working the end of the game, tired relievers like Sam LeCure, Manny Parra and Jumbo Diaz could stay idle.
"We could pitch Chapman today as we did and he can pitch [Friday] if he comes out of it OK," manager Bryan Price said. "If we would have used [Jonathan] Broxton, LeCure, Diaz or Parra, most likely they would have been done for [Friday]. It just made sense to use Chappy there. It served two purposes. We got a chance to see that he's healthy as well."
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.