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09/22/10 12:06 AM ET

Reds' Votto scratched due to sinus infection

MVP candidate gets night off after playing 31 straight games

MILWAUKEE -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto was scratched from Tuesday's lineup vs. the Brewers because he wasn't feeling well, manager Dusty Baker revealed.

"He has a very serious sinus infection, which is tough," Baker said. "All that hitting, base running and all that, there's got to be some fatigue. You don't get fatigue physically making outs. You get fatigue hitting and running the bases."

Jim Edmonds, originally slated to play center field, was moved to first base for Votto, and Chris Heisey played center field. Jay Bruce moved up to take Votto's third spot in the lineup.

Baker had been looking for a chance to give a break to Votto, who had played 31 straight games since his last day off on Aug. 18 -- which was for stiffness in his lower back. But he was holding off because the first-place Reds haven't clinched the National League Central race yet. Votto is also competing for some individual offensive achievements.

A National League MVP candidate, Votto's two-run home run in the eighth inning helped give the Reds a 5-2 win over Milwaukee on Monday. This season, the 27-year-old's .323 average and 106 RBIs are third in the league, and he is tied for second with 35 home runs.

Edmonds possibly tears Achilles on homer trot

MILWAUKEE -- It's quite possible that Jim Edmonds' season and career ended on a high note and low note at the same time.

Edmonds hit a second-inning home run to right field for the Reds off Brewers starter Dave Bush, but he hobbled as he rounded second base and had to exit the game. After Cincinnati's 4-3 victory, Edmonds said he believed he might have torn the right Achilles tendon that has bothered him much of this season.

Nothing has been confirmed, however, until Edmonds sees a doctor and has tests.

"Something popped when I was running around the bases," Edmonds said. "The first couple of steps, I felt like I completely popped it. I was just worried about what my next step was going to feel like. I had to slow down for a second. I realized my foot wasn't falling off and I tried to keep jogging. It was pretty painful. It was just the same battle all year long. It gets better, it gets worse. This is the first time it's really popped or felt like it tore. We'll see what happens."

Edmonds, normally an outfielder who was playing first base for Joey Votto after Votto was scratched with a sinus infection, was replaced by Miguel Cairo.

"He gave us a big boost with the home run," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Certainly you can see how valuable he is to us when he's healthy. Hopefully it's not too bad."

After he took 2009 off and began this season playing for Milwaukee, injuries have plagued the 40-year-old Edmonds. He tried to play through the Achilles injury for the Brewers before he was traded to the Reds on Aug. 9.

"I can't believe it's taken this long for it to get this bad," he said.

About two weeks after his trade, Edmonds went on the 15-day disabled list with a torn right oblique muscle. He was activated on Sept. 9, and made his first start on Saturday.

"He was just waiting to hit a home run and call it a career," Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun joked, before knowing the severity of the injury. "Hit a homer and jog into the sunset. He'll be back for the postseason, I think. I know Jimmy."

Stubbs hits 20-20 mark in first full season

MILWAUKEE -- The two-run home run Drew Stubbs hit in the second inning of Monday's win over the Brewers barely cleared the right-field wall, but it carried with it plenty of personal significance.

With 20 homers and 25 steals, Stubbs has a 20-20 season in his first full year in the Majors.

"Coming into the season, I try not to set any statistical goals, but one thing I kind of had in mind was to try and reach 20 home runs," Stubbs said Tuesday. "I thought it'd be an attainable goal, but also a challenge. Getting that last night was pretty special."

Amazingly, Stubbs has 28 home runs in 664 career big league at-bats. He totaled the same number of homers over four Minor League seasons and 1,588 at-bats.

"Coming up, you hear scouts and instructors tell you that power is the last thing to come," Stubbs said. "I've known all along I had it in me to do that. It hadn't always translated into the games. I think the key to that this year is I've been able to hit with backspin a lot more consistently. Balls I might have hit hard for doubles last year are carrying a little farther and turning into home runs this year."

Manager Dusty Baker had already decided before the road trip that the center fielder would get a break from the lineup on Tuesday. When Stubbs was batting just .228 in early August, Baker stuck with him and ignored clamoring to not play him.

"I remember at one time a lot of people were screaming to send him out of here," Baker said. "Sometimes you have to stick with a young player and let him learn and improve. The only way to do that is play. ... We just hadn't seen the power until he got to the big leagues, which happened to me the same way. You get bigger. You get stronger. You get a better idea of the strike zone. You learn. He's come a long ways."

Lefty Bruce likely to play vs. southpaw Wolf

MILWAUKEE -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, a left-handed hitter, has missed three games since his Sept. 13 return from a sore right side; all were vs. left-handed starting pitchers. That included Monday against the Brewers and Chris Capuano.

However, manager Dusty Baker plans to start Bruce on Wednesday against lefty Randy Wolf.

"One time it was his side," Baker said. "The other time, it had to do with who I thought that particular left-handed matchup was. I didn't like the matchup with Capuano. Plus, [Chris] Heisey is healthy again and it was time for him to play. The 1-for-17 vs. Wandy [Rodriguez] is kind of self explanatory.

"It's my job to understand the personnel -- their strengths and weaknesses -- compared to who I think is pitching against them that day."

Bruce came into the night a .264 hitter vs. lefties and .284 against right-handers.

"He hits Wolf pretty good, plus Wolf has had more success against right-handers than left-handers," Baker said. "I stuck with Jay earlier in the year against almost anybody."

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.