HOUSTON -- Reds manager Dusty Baker has been coming to Houston as a player and a manager for most of the last 40 years. With the Astros moving to the American League West next season, Baker will miss managing in Houston on a regular basis.
"I know a lot of people here," Baker said. "I hit my first home run here. This is where I started playing every day."
At the Astrodome, on May 16, 1972, Baker, then playing with the Braves, hit his first homer, a solo shot off the Astros' Jerry Reuss in the third inning.
Baker started all three games of the Braves' series in Houston from May 15-17, and was an everyday player for most of the next 10 years.
Baker batted .297 and hit 13 homers in 105 games at the Astrodome, but said he would've preferred to play at Minute Maid Park. The Astrodome was notoriously tough on home run hitters.
Houston is a much bigger city now than it was in 1972.
"It wasn't nearly this big when I first started coming here," Baker said.
Reds who grew up near or in Houston -- Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce and Xavier Paul among them -- won't be able to come home and play in front of family as often in the next few years.
Those three have played well in Houston during their careers. Bailey is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in four starts at Minute Maid Park. Bruce entered Sunday's game batting .289 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 37 games in Houston. Paul was batting .400 (8-for-20) in Houston.
Votto to make another rehab start Monday
HOUSTON -- After hitting a homer in a rehabilitation start with Triple-A Louisville on Saturday, Joey Votto had the day off on Sunday.
The Reds announced late Sunday that Votto will make another rehab appearance on Monday for Triple-A Louisville in the Bats' final game of the season.
Reds manager Dusty Baker had hoped Votto, more than six weeks removed from surgery to repair the torn medial meniscus in his left knee, could return to the Reds' lineup on Monday when the team returns to Cincinnati for a nine-game homestand. However, Votto has the final say on when he returns.
"We'll wait and see if he thinks he's ready," Baker said. "We've got a spot for him."
Votto went 1-for-5 in three rehab appearances with Class A Dayton and is 1-for-3 with Louisville. The Reds are 32-15 without Votto in the lineup after Sunday's 5-3 victory at Houston.
Xavier Paul started in left field and batted sixth on Sunday, in place of regular left fielder Ryan Ludwick. Paul, from Slidell, La., also started a game during the Reds' last series in Houston.
Catcher Devin Mesoraco was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. He batted .167 (3-for-18) for Louisville after being optioned there on Aug. 23. Mesoraco served a two-game suspension on Aug. 21-22 after making contact with home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild during a July 30 argument over balls and strikes, and hasn't played for the Reds since Aug. 20. Ryan Hanigan started behind the plate on Sunday.
Clark Goble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.