CINCINNATI -- Reds right-handed setup man Nick Masset appears to have shown some improvement with his sore right shoulder. Masset started the season on the 15-day disabled list because of the injury that came down during Spring Training.

"He told me he was feeling a little better. I just talked to him a couple of minutes ago," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He said he was going to go check with the people and see what he can do and what he shouldn't do."

Masset, who has not pitched in a game since March 22, is eligible to be activated on Tuesday. But he'd likely need to get some innings in a Minor League game before he is ready to return.

Phillips reaches 1,000 hits with Reds

CINCINNATI -- Second baseman Brandon Phillips notched hits in his first two-at-bats on Sunday vs. the Marlins. The second hit, a rolling single up the middle in the bottom of the second inning, gave Phillips his 1,000th hit as a member of the Reds.

After the bottom of the second, fans at Great American Ball Park gave Phillips a loud ovation when his milestone was revealed on the scoreboard.

"I didn't know what they were clapping for, honestly," Phillips said. "I really knew nothing about it. I'm not the type of person that worries about career stats and stuff like that. I try to perform for my team and my family. But it was beautiful for the fans to show their love to me. It meant a lot."

Phillips is the 28th player in Reds history to produce 1,000 hits.

The second baseman, 30, was acquired by Cincinnati in a 2006 trade that sent Minor Leaguer Jeff Stevens to the Indians. Only 89 of Phillips' 1,089 career hits did not come in a Reds uniform.

Cairo gets first start in place of resting Rolen

CINCINNATI -- Had Juan Francisco not played his way out of the equation during Spring Training, Sunday would have been the type of games he would have often started for the Reds -- a day game after a night game when Scott Rolen is usually rested.

Versus the Marlins, the job belonged to utility man Miguel Cairo. The 37-year-old played well at third base the season when both Rolen and Francisco were injured.

"He did a great job for us," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Sunday morning. "I've got Cairo. I've got Willie Harris and I've also got Wilson Valdez, too. I've got some options. A lot of it depends on who I think needs at-bats, who's pitching and what kind of defense I need."

In 102 games during 2011, Cairo batted .265 with eight home runs and 33 RBIs. He did not play in either of the first two games of 2012.

Baker also chose Cairo to start because of his familiarity of playing behind Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

"The left side of the infield gets a lot of action," Baker said. "Cairo has a pretty good idea of what he's going to throw in certain counts, certain situations, and he's played more there than anybody."

Worth noting

• Ryan Ludwick was given the start Sunday in left field because of his track record vs. Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano. Ludwick came in batting .375 (9-for-24) with two home runs and five RBIs vs. Zambrano.

• The Reds sold out their first two games of the season for the first time since 1969.