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MIN@CLE: Lowe impressive over 6 1/3 innings vs. Twins

When Derek Lowe had a bad start in the past, he would usually dwell on it. The Indians right-hander would watch the tape of his struggles and allow it to get into his head and frustrate him. Sometimes that frustration would carry over to his next outing.

This year, though, Lowe has made an active effort to put each start -- be it good or bad -- behind him and move forward.

"There was no panic," Lowe said late last month after rebounding from a rough outing with a win. "In years past, I would have probably tried to look too much at the last game. You just understand that -- don't try to watch video to figure it out. Just admit that you did bad."

Lowe admitted as much after he gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings against Chicago in late May. The result was a strong bounce-back performance against the Twins.

After getting knocked around for seven runs at Detroit last Thursday, Lowe will look to have a similar rebound effort when he takes the mound Wednesday night against the Reds in the second game of a three-game Interleague series at Great American Ballpark.

Lowe showed as much frustration as he has all season when he was pulled from the game against the Tigers after only 80 pitches. On his way to the dugout, Lowe picked up an orange cooler and slammed it to the ground in anger. He's thrown too many sinkers without enough sink in two of his last three starts, and he's tired of getting beat.

"This is my first time facing a lot of these teams in a long, long time," Lowe said after the latest loss. "Some teams, you may be able to throw a lot of sinkers early in the game. And there's going to be some teams that, now that you've faced them, you learn from it."

Lowe is plenty familiar with the Reds after pitching in the National League for most of his career. He enters with a 4-3 record and a 4.26 ERA in seven career starts against them, but figures to have his hands full with a loaded Cincinnati lineup.

The Reds will counter with right-hander Mat Latos, who will start in place of the ill Mike Leake. A sickness started going through the Reds' clubhouse Tuesday night, and manager Dusty Baker was forced to push Leake back at least one day.

"Now we have to go with Latos [on Wednesday] and Leake, hopefully the next day," Baker said. "Hopefully he's feeling better. He came in, got an I.V. and went back home. So Latos is on his regular day tomorrow [Wednesday] now, instead of yesterday [Monday]. So hopefully it'll work for us."

Latos is 4-2 with a 4.85 ERA this season, and he hasn't dropped a decision since April 18. He allowed three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings in his last outing against Detroit on Friday, and got a no-decision. The Reds are 4-0 in his last four starts.

Overall, the Reds have been up and down of late. They've lost five of eight and seven of 13 entering Wednesday, and they lead Pittsburgh by one game for first place in the NL Central. Cincinnati took the first game of the series, 7-1, on Tuesday.

Indians: Hannahan, Hafner making progress
• Injured third baseman Jack Hannahan and designated hitter Travis Hafner are making progress. If Hannahan feels OK physically after taking a day off Wednesday, the Indians plan to have him play a full nine innings in a Minor League game Thursday to test his injured calf. Hafner, who is now almost two weeks removed from a right medial meniscectomy for his knee, has begun some light hitting drills. If the timetable for his return announced by the team is accurate, Hafner should be ready to play in two to four weeks.

• The Indians acquired right-hander Esmil Rogers from Colorado on Tuesday in exchange for cash considerations. Rogers had an 8.06 ERA in 23 appearances for the Rockies this season.

Reds: Phillips not caught up in Ohio Cup
• Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who began his career with the Indians, downplayed the significance of the "Battle of Ohio" when asked about it before Tuesday's game. To him, the series isn't nearly as important as one against a team in the National League Central.

"It'd be nice to play them in the World Series," Phillips said. "That would be beautiful. Then I would worry about it more. But right now it's during the regular season and we're trying to win as many games as possible."

Phillips has had a good amount of success against his former team since being traded to the Reds in 2006. In 36 career games against Cleveland, Phillips is hitting .333 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs.

• Shortstop Wilson Valdez went 3-for-4 on Tuesday, his first three-hit game since April 11. Valdez had only two hits in the entire month of May.

Worth noting
• Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is hitting .324 (23-for-71) with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 19 career games against the Reds.

• Reds first baseman Joey Votto had a home run and three RBIs on Tuesday, giving him three homers and 12 RBIs in 10 June games.

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