CINCINNATI -- Relief pitcher Sam LeCure returned to the mound for Cincinnati hours after the team reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list. LeCure pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Reds in the team's 4-2 loss in the first leg of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Yankees.The team also optioned starting pitcher Travis Wood to Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. Wood is 5-5 with a 5.11 ERA, including a loss against New York on Monday during which the southpaw allowed four earned on eight hits in seven innings. LeCure, who had not pitched for Cincinnati since May 22 due to a strained right forearm, allowed one hit -- a one-out double by shortstop Eduardo Nunez. LeCure recovered by starting a rundown to pick off Nunez, and the inning was over after Ramiro Pena popped out to second. "Obviously, we would have liked the game to go a different way," LeCure said. "But it was good to get out there, get my feet wet again, just kind of get reacclimated to being up here and some of the adrenaline that comes with it. Overall, I felt good. I felt like I missed a couple spots, but I had enough life on [my pitches] to where it didn't cost us too bad." LeCure was 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA in four rehab appearances with Louisville, and he said he started to feel back to his normal self during his June 11 appearance. Prior to being optioned, Wood was scheduled to start for the Reds against the Orioles on Sunday. Manager Dusty Baker said Homer Bailey will probably take Wood's spot in the rotation.
Stubbs gets break from leadoff spot
CINCINNATI -- For all of the previous 68 games he started this season, center fielder Drew Stubbs was the Reds' leadoff hitter. That was not the case for the first game of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader vs. the Yankees.Left fielder Fred Lewis led off, while Stubbs batted sixth. Manager Dusty Baker made the decision while sleeping after Tuesday's rainout. "Just relieving a little pressure for him," Baker said of Stubbs. "Freddy has been swinging the bat well." Stubbs was 2-for-16 with seven strikeouts and one home run in the previous four games of the homestand. Overall, he was batting .261 in 73 games, with 10 homers, 31 RBIs and a .334 on-base percentage. His 99 strikeouts lead the National League. "When you're scuffling in the leadoff spot, those ABs add up rather quickly -- especially if you're not walking much," Baker said. "It's a temporary thing." When he first checked the lineup card Wednesday morning, Lewis looked for his name further down in the order and didn't see it. "I looked at the lineup and thought, 'I guess I'm not playing today,'" Lewis said. "I looked at the BP groups and I was in the second group [with starters]. I had to look at the lineup again, and it was a bit of a shock to me. Leading off?" Lewis was 7-for-9 (.777) and had hits in each of his previous five games. "I'm happy to be getting a feel of things again," he said. "I'm taking my BP into the game. I'm coming up with some good hits and good swings." Baker started Chris Heisey in center field for Game 2 vs. the Yankees, and indicated he could bat Stubbs further down the order over the following six Interleague games in American League cities Baltimore and Tampa Bay. With the designated hitter in use, the Reds could have either Lewis or Heisey play left field and possibly bat first.
Bailey, Chapman edge closer to return
CINCINNATI -- In what could be their final rehab outings, Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman both pitched for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday night against Pawtucket.Bailey tossed six innings, allowing three runs and eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 103 pitches, 71 for strikes. "I thought Homer threw well. His velocity was good," Louisville manager Rick Sweet told reporters after the game. "That's what they wanted to see -- they wanted to see him over 100 pitches and they wanted to see him maintain his velocity, so he did what they wanted to see." Bailey has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 28 with a strain in his right shoulder. In three rehab starts for Louisville, he has posted a 6.08 ERA. Chapman, who has been on the DL since May 16 with left shoulder inflammation, replaced Bailey and worked one perfect inning with one strikeout while throwing 13 pitches, seven of which were strikes. It was the second scoreless outing in a row for Chapman, who has been physically healthy for a few weeks. He's had nine rehab appearances for Louisville and Double-A Carolina, and his 30-day rehab assignment has expired. There were no plans to activate him on Wednesday, manager Dusty Baker said. A decision will have to made on whether to bring Chapman back to the Reds or option him to Triple-A. "I told Chapman to go down there and throw well and [he would] have a good chance to come back," Baker said. "If you don't throw well, then you have to earn your way back. That's what he did. I told him straight up -- because he's Chapman or because it's big for marketing, it had nothing to do with our decision. He had to pitch and that's what he did."
For fans holding tickets from Tuesday's rainout and opting to exchange them for a future game, they will receive a seat in the same seating category as originally purchased, as well as one voucher for a field box ticket ($34 value) for a Sunday through Friday 2011 regular-season home game, based on availability. The only exclusion for the exchange and redemption is the Reds-Cardinals series from July 15-17.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Tyler Jett is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.