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06/29/08 1:33 AM ET

Hairston playing through pain for Reds

Cincinnati (37-45) at Cleveland (37-44), Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET

CLEVELAND -- Every now and again at his shortstop position, Jerry Hairston Jr. needs to pause before he can shake off the pain.

Hairston just returned from a fractured left thumb on Thursday, and the injury still bothers him. That was evident Friday night vs. the Indians when he snared Ryan Garko's hard line drive in the eighth inning.

"It kind of felt like an electric shock going though my arm," Hairston said on Saturday. "It only happens when the ball is hit there perfectly, and that ball did."

Even though he wears a pad on his thumb inside his glove, Hairston clearly looked to be in pain. He had his hand out of the glove and took a moment before finishing the game.

"It only hurt for a minute or two," Hairston said. "It didn't feel good. I'm fine, no biggie."

Hairston, who missed just over two weeks with the injury, came back knowing he wasn't 100 percent. The club missed his bat from the leadoff spot, and he wanted to play after he was eligible to come off the disabled list.

There was no apparent favoring of the thumb during Saturday's 5-0 win over the Indians, but Hairston still took some lumps. In the seventh inning, he was hit in the right knee by a Rafael Perez pitch and limped to first base.

"It's all right," Hairston said. "Initially, it didn't feel good."

Nor did his face after he scored on Brandon Phillips' two-out single to left field. As the throw came home, catcher Sal Fasano accidentally whacked Hairston in the nose with his glove as he crossed the plate.

Pitching matchup
CIN: RHP Bronson Arroyo (4-7, 6.52 ERA)
Arroyo posted what he called the worst outing of his career in his last start -- a 14-1 drubbing at Toronto on Monday. The Blue Jays lit up Arroyo for 10 earned runs and 11 hits, including three home runs as the right-hander lasted a career-low one-plus innings. The earned runs were a career high, and the hits allowed tied a career high. He's 0-3 with a 10.07 ERA over his last five starts. Over his last two, he's given up 16 earned runs and 18 hits. The drubbing at Toronto caused Arroyo's 5.55 ERA to skyrocket to 6.52.

CLE: LHP Aaron Laffey (4-4, 2.83 ERA)
Laffey continued to show his ability to get the double-play ball when he needed it Tuesday against the Giants. He gave up just one run on four hits with three walks and a strikeout over 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision. The damage might have been worse if he didn't use his sinker to get a pair of double plays. Laffey has pitched much better than his record indicates, and he's taken three no-decisions in his last six starts. He has never faced the Reds.

Short hops
The Reds signed outfielder Rob Mackowiak to a Minor League contract on Saturday and assigned him to Triple-A Louisville. Mackowiak batted .132 in 38 games this season with the Nationals. ... Adam Dunn has four home runs in five games vs. Cleveland this season, including a first-inning solo shot on Saturday. ... With a 4-1 record in Interleague Play vs. Cleveland this season, the Reds have claimed the Ohio Cup series.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN Ohio

On radio
• WLW 700

Up next
• Monday: Pirates (Paul Maholm, 5-5, 4.41) at Reds (Aaron Harang, 3-10, 4.51), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Pirates (Zach Duke, 4-5, 3.99) at Reds (Edinson Volquez, 10-3, 2.08), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Pirates (TBD) at Reds (Daryl Thompson, 0-1, 3.60), 7:10 p.m. ET

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.