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PHI@MIL: Lee fans 12 over 7 2/3 innings vs. Brewers

In mid-July, there weren't many hotter pitchers in the National League than Homer Bailey and Cliff Lee. Neither has been able to rediscover that stellar form since.

When the Reds and Phillies link up for the second game of a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park, Bailey and Lee will get another chance to bounce back.

Bailey finds himself in uncharted territory. He's thrown 147 innings in 2012, 15 more than his total in five previous seasons with the Reds. Bailey's ERA in his last four starts is 8.24.

After his last start -- he gave up six runs (four earned) over 5 2/3 innings against the Mets on Aug. 16 -- Bailey said he didn't think fatigue was an issue in his recent stretch of shaky outings.

"I feel good out there throwing, and into starts and stuff," Bailey said. "I'm not really getting that sore between starts. Physically, I feel great. I have no excuses, just not making pitches as consistently as I need to."

Manager Dusty Baker didn't put much weight on potential fatigue problems, either, pointing out that Bailey was throwing 93-94 mph to start the game.

This rough stretch of starts comes after Bailey posted a 1.43 ERA in his first five starts of July.

Lee pitched well in his first three starts in July, posting a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings. He threw seven or more innings in each of his last five starts, but has also given up 11 homers.

Lee's last start was fairly indicative of the season he's having. He allowed five hits and struck out 12 in 7 2/3 innings, but the Brewers launched three solo homers -- two by Ryan Braun and one by Aramis Ramirez. The Phillies lost, 7-4, falling to 7-14 in Lee's starts.

"It was one of those games," Lee said.

Reds: Frazier relishing chance to play
Rookie infielder Todd Frazier has continued to produce for the Reds as they approach the stretch run.

"Frazier is not scared," Baker said. "He actually relishes the chance to be in a situation like this. You find out a lot about people during these times. You find out who wants to be here. You find out who'd rather not be there at the same time. I'm just glad we've got a room full of guys who love to compete and love the situation of the possibility on winning. And Frazier is one of the main guys."

Since Joey Votto has been out, Frazier is batting .307 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 34 games. He has played primarily at first base in Votto's spot, but also filled in at third for Scott Rolen.

The Reds probably didn't anticipate this kind of production from Frazier.

"It's hard to say what you expect because you don't know what to expect," Baker said. "He's been one of our top prospects for a long time, and you really don't know what to expect when a guy has an unconventional, non-orthodox way of hitting. But it works for him."

Phillies: Ruiz swinging in the cage
On Monday afternoon, catcher Carlos Ruiz took a few swings in the batting cage, his first swings since going on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot on Aug. 4.

Doctors originally expected Ruiz to return to the lineup in four to six weeks, meaning he would return sometime in the early part of September.

Ruiz said he felt good after the work in the batting cage. He also did some leg exercises. He said he hopes to take batting practice on Wednesday and move on from there.

"I want to come back real bad. I want to finish the season like healthy, you know," Ruiz said. "I'm happy now because I feel real good, and I feel like I'm close."

Worth noting
• The Phillies are 21-9 against the Reds all time at Citizens Bank Park.

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