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Votto is a running man

Votto is a running man

CINCINNATI -- First baseman Joey Votto didn't notch his first steal of the season until April 12 in Miami. Now he's tied with Drew Stubbs for the team lead with four steals in six attempts. Manager Dusty Baker wouldn't disclose how much of that was because of Votto's initiative or if it was instructed from the dugout.

"It's something I don't want to expand on. The other team reads this," Baker said. "It's something I encourage. It's something we've all been working on. We have guys here with the ability to steal. Joey had the ability last year. He was sliding too early and sometimes didn't get to the base. He's worked on sliding hard, leads and jumps."

If Votto steals with success, Baker felt it could add more pressure to the opposition's pitching and defense. During the seventh inning of Tuesday's win, Votto was caught trying to swipe second base in the seventh inning.

"They tricked Joey a little bit," Baker said. "[Dodgers pitcher Jon Link] did a real high leg kick the first pitch, and the second pitch, he slide stepped. That's a sign they thought he might run, too. Now it's up to Joey to recognize when they do these things."

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