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Reds' Mesoraco notches his first career RBI

This weekend's series between the Reds and Rockies could showcase two young backstops who have impressed their managers.

Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco made his first Major League start on Monday, while top Rockies prospect Wilin Rosario made his debut behind the plate on Tuesday.

With both teams facing double-digit deficits in the standings, they can afford to let some prospects get their feet wet in big league games as the season winds down.

Colorado manager Jim Tracy lauded Rosario's game calling, which improved while the catcher was at Double-A Tulsa this season.

"The catching position, as demanding as that is and as much information as got thrown at him yesterday, that's a lot to absorb in a very short period of time," Tracy said on Wednesday. "And he handled himself extremely well."

Reds skipper Dusty Baker was also pleased with Mesoraco, who started on Monday and Tuesday. Mesoraco earned the starts partly due to familiarity with pitchers Dontrelle Willis and Mike Leake, whom he caught in Triple-A Louisville.

"He's called a good game," Baker said. "Naturally, he has a few things to learn, but he has come a long way in a short period of time since I first saw him a couple of years ago. He pays attention. He's conscientious. He's getting better at throwing. When I first saw him, he had a sore arm. He threw the ball well. He received it well."

Reds: Bailey hopes to rebound
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey takes the mound for Friday's series opener and will try to move past a messy outing against St. Louis in his last start.

Bailey lasted just three innings, allowing five runs (four earned) in a 6-4 loss to the Cardinals.

Against Colorado, Bailey is 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA. In his last start against the Rockies, he took a no-decision, allowing five earned runs in three innings of a game that featured a 94-minute rain delay. He did not return after the delay and the Reds lost, 10-7.

Bailey struggled to get hitters out when ahead in the count -- four of the six hits he allowed came when the count was 0-2 or 1-2.

"That was 90 percent of it right there," Bailey said. "Most of the hits they got, we were in either 0-2 or 1-2 and I couldn't put them away."

Rockies: Injuries ending seasons
Two Rockies are out for the season, a blow somewhat softened because Colorado is out of the playoff picture.

Outfielder Ryan Spilborghs reinjured his right foot on Monday, leading Tracy to shut him down. Second baseman Jonathan Herrera will also miss the rest of the season with fractured index and little fingers on his right hand. He was hurt when his hand was slammed in a door, but Tracy said the injury won't require surgery.

Catcher Jose Morales has been on the 60-day disabled list since June 17 with a fractured right thumb and will also miss the rest of the season.

• One other injured Colorado player, Todd Helton, could be back in time for Friday's series opener with the Reds. Helton has been out with a stiff back and has missed the last four games.

Worth noting
• Jhoulys Chacin will make his third career start against the Reds on Friday. He took the loss earlier this season, even though he allowed just two runs in an eight-inning complete game, as Colorado lost 2-1.

• Reds infielder Scott Rolen was back with the team on Tuesday, but will not travel along to Colorado in order to attend funeral services for a family member who died last weekend.

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