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Taxed Reds bullpen looking for respite

Taxed Reds bullpen looking for respite

MIAMI -- If he could get away with it, manager Dusty Baker would have preferred to slap a padlock on the Reds bullpen Tuesday night.

Baker found himself pulling for starter Bronson Arroyo for more than the usual reasons. Johnny Cueto lasted five innings in Monday's 6-5, 10-inning win and Homer Bailey went only five innings on Friday vs. the Cubs.

"Our bullpen is really upside down," Baker said.

Cueto threw 110 pitches in Monday's game, including 33 during a three-run third inning. On Friday, Bailey had 106 pitches, including 64 through his first three innings.

This was one of the reasons the Reds had Cueto as the No. 2 starter and the more dependable Arroyo in the third spot in front of Bailey.

"We have to find a way to minimize the pitches from our starters," Baker said. "One hundred pitches in the fifth is a lot of pitches. Even though they're battling, we have to command the strike zone a little better. That's a lot of pitches and a lot of pressure on the bullpen, especially when we're playing 12 consecutive games."

Right-handed setup man Nick Masset was expected to get the night off after he pitched for three straight days. Masset worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam for the victory Monday.

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