LOS ANGELES -- The cuts and scrapes up and down Jay Bruce's right shin gave the impression that he had been sliding in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. In actuality, they came from colliding with Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas' shin guard on Tuesday night.But that's not why the Reds right fielder was given the day off Wednesday by manager Dusty Baker. Bruce, the National League's player of the month for May, entered the day 2-for-20 on the road trip. "I see him fouling off pitches now and slowing down a little bit from being so hot," Baker said. "I remember Ted Williams said that most guys go into a little tailspin because they're running the bases a lot." Fred Lewis started in right field for Cincinnati in Wednesday's series finale vs. the Dodgers. Overall, Bruce came in batting .283 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs. As for his right leg, Bruce felt fine. "It didn't feel great," Bruce said on Wednesday. "If you've ever slipped a pedal on your bike into your shin, that's what it was like. It hurt a lot in the beginning but it wears off." In the fourth inning of Tuesday's 3-2 win, Scott Rolen hit a two-out RBI double that scored Drew Stubbs. Running from first base, Bruce was waved around and barely beat a perfect relay throw. Barajas was positioned up from the plate but successfully blocked the plate at the last minute. "He did it like you're supposed to," Bruce said. "As soon as he knew there was going to be a play, he kind of came back and just blocked the plate. He did a good job. I was going to beat the throw but when he came over, he pushed me off the plate."
Bruce entered Wednesday's 7-4 win in the seventh inning and struck out in his only at-bat.
Baker gives Stubbs scheduled off-day
LOS ANGELES -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs was told before Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Dodgers that he wouldn't be starting on Wednesday. Coming off an 0-for-5, three-strikeout game on Monday, Stubbs responded with three hits and a sacrifice bunt, including an important RBI single in the ninth inning."I said, 'Give me all you've got today, every ounce of energy you've got today so you can be off tomorrow'," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, whose club also has a scheduled off-day on Thursday. Chris Heisey led off and played center field for the Reds in place of Stubbs, who had been the only player to appear in all 69 of the club's previous games.
Entering Wednesday, Stubbs was batting .269 with nine home runs and a .345 on-base percentage. Over his last 12 games, he's hitting .340 (17-for-50). He was tied with Jose Reyes for the league lead in runs scored with 49 and has 20 steals.Stubbs also has a commanding league lead in strikeouts, with 92. "It's a concern of mine," Stubbs said. "I think the last three weeks or so, it's been more magnified than at any point of my career because I've had a lot of stuff going on in my head -- a lot of negative thoughts -- that have probably contributed to the way things have gone. Ultimately, it's something I think will come out of. It's something I'm always trying to improve upon. "At the end of the day, production is what you look for. If you're still helping the team win games, then you're still doing your part."
In his latest rehab outing for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday, Reds pitcher Sam LeCure (right forearm) worked 1 2/3 innings and allowed one run on two hits, walking one and striking out three. LeCure, whose one run allowed was the result of a homer, took the loss against Lehigh Valley. LeCure has a 2.45 ERA over 3 2/3 innings in three appearances. Since returning from the disabled list with a straight left oblique, Louisville outfielder Dave Sappelt is 11-for-25, (.444) including a 5-for-5 performance in Tuesday's game. For the season, Sappelt is batting .364 with a .426 on-base percentage. Because the Dodgers wore throwback uniforms from the 1940s era on Wednesday, the Reds donned 1944 throwback uniforms. It was the same look that 15-year-old pitcher Joe Nuxhall had when he debuted that season. Baker celebrated his 62nd birthday on Wednesday.