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09/14/10 12:10 AM ET

Reds' Bruce picks up where he left off in return

Right fielder hits two homers after sitting out 12 games

CINCINNATI -- It's a little ironic that on the very day the Reds acquired extra outfield depth in Willie Bloomquist from the Royals, the outfielder they missed most returned.

Although not originally in Monday's lineup vs. Arizona, right fielder Jay Bruce was installed into the sixth spot. Chris Heisey, who is bothered by a sore left biceps, was removed. Bruce missed 12 games since Aug. 30 with a sore right side.

"We had a session with Dr. [Tim] Kremchek and him and myself a couple of days ago," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "When this happens, you're not going to be 100 percent until you rest in the winter time. At this point, he's about as good as he can get for a while. We tried to hold off and wait as long as we could."

Bruce had a memorable return during the Reds' 7-2 win. He went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a single and four RBIs.

"It was a big day for Jay," Baker said. "That was a big day for us. We needed that today."

The Reds were 5-7 while Bruce was out. For those 12 games, they were limited to only three healthy outfielders in Heisey, Drew Stubbs and Jonny Gomes. Bruce started taking batting practice in Colorado last week and gradually improved. On Sunday, Baker originally slated Bruce to return on Tuesday.

"I'm ready to go," Bruce said before Monday's game. "I feel ready to go. It's time to go. I want to get ready for that push and help my team as much as I can."

Bruce is batting .278 with 20 home runs and 62 RBIs. He was red-hot with a .533 (8-for-15) average in the four games before he went down.

"They say one guy can have a big impact on your lineup and your game if he's an impact player," Baker said. "Jay was certainly an impact before he got hurt the last month."

Reds recall reliever Burton from Triple-A

CINCINNATI -- The Reds recalled right-handed reliever Jared Burton from Triple-A Louisville on Monday, after the Bats' season came to an end.

Although Burton spent most of the previous three seasons in the Majors with the Reds, this was his first promotion this season. The 29-year-old was 3-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 33 games for Louisville in what has been a tough year.

Burton did not pitch well in Spring Training and was sent down. Then he had a slow start for the Bats before going on the disabled list with a hypothyroid condition that took a while to diagnose.

"I made the best of it and had a pretty good year," said Burton, who also spent time on the DL later in the year with a sore left oblique. "It was a long start of the season. I had a lot of doctor visits. Once they finally diagnosed the problem and I knew physically I was fine, I was able to move on, get my arm in shape and had a good year.

"Once I got the medication and after a couple of weeks, I could tell a huge difference. All of my energy was there. Obviously when that comes, confidence and everything comes because you're a lot more comfortable."

Worth noting

Jim Edmonds, who hasn't played since Aug. 23 because of a torn right oblique muscle, took batting practice on the field Monday. Laynce Nix, who has also been out since Aug. 23 because of a sprained ankle, also took BP in that session. Both could be back soon. "I think Nix is probably a little farther off running-wise," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ... After Reds starter Bronson Arroyo departed following six innings in Monday's 7-2 win, rookie reliever Jordan Smith walked his only two batters in the seventh with eight of his nine pitches being called balls. As Smith exited the field, he had words about the strike zone for home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck. While Dusty Baker was at the mound handing the ball off to lefty Bill Bray, Hirschbeck gave Smith the first ejection of his career. Bray worked out of the mess by picking up three straight outs and struck out the side in the eighth. It included retiring pinch-hitter Rusty Ryal in a 16-pitch at-bat that included 10 foul balls with two strikes.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.