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05/24/11 6:45 PM ET

Bruce enjoying torrid pace at plate

PHILADELPHIA -- On a nice tear and accumulating home runs rapidly, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has shot straight to the top of the leaderboard. Bruce entered Tuesday tied with Ryan Braun for the National League lead in homers, with 12.

In a bright spot for a suddenly slumping club, Bruce came in 11-for-18 (.611) with four homers in his last five games and is 15-for-30 (.500) in his last eight games.

"I don't really worry about the power much," said Bruce, who was batting .281 with 30 RBIs before the game. "I'm pleased with the way I'm hitting and the at-bats I'm taking.

"Obviously, it'd be a lot better if we were faring better as a team. I think you always like to feel good. I'm swinging at the right pitches. When I'm getting the pitches, I'm not missing them. I'm sticking with an approach that works."

MRI detects no serious injury for Arroyo

PHILADELPHIA -- The day after getting knocked around by the Phillies, Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo returned to Cincinnati to have an MRI exam performed for a sore back.

Arroyo gave up nine earned runs and 10 hits over 2 2/3 innings during the Reds' 10-3 loss on Monday. Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek saw Arroyo on Tuesday and determined the MRI to be negative for a serious issue. He will not have to miss a start.

"There's not a whole lot in there," head trainer Paul Lessard said. "So we'll just treat it as a muscle strain and not a muscle spasm."

Arroyo, who has not pitched well in his last couple of outings, is 3-5 with a 5.28 ERA in 10 starts overall this season. He apparently had been bothered for a while with the back stiffness but kept that to himself.

"I didn't even know he was not OK, actually, until after the game," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I had asked him in the elevator when we got here Sunday night, 'How are you feeling?' He just said, 'My back is a little stiff.' But you hear that from everybody. You know Bronson doesn't like not pitching. He doesn't like missing a turn. I do wish we had known. We might have switched him to Atlanta."

Arroyo is expected to return to Philadelphia on Wednesday and will throw his regular side bullpen session on Thursday. He is scheduled to face the Braves on Saturday.

"We just wanted to make sure everything was good before we just kept messing around with it," Lessard said. "It's actually good news."

Leake will 'probably' start for Reds on Friday

PHILADELPHIA -- Pitcher Mike Leake's Monday outing for Triple-A Louisville was limited to two innings, and not because a rain delay prevented him from returning. Leake is expected to take Edinson Volquez's spot in the Reds' rotation and pitch on Friday against the Braves.

Asked if Leake was his starter, manager Dusty Baker replied "probably." The right-hander was 3-2 with a 9.70 ERA in nine games with Cincinnati this season, including six starts.

Leake has not had great numbers for Louisville since the Reds optioned him there on May 16. In two games, he allowed eight earned runs and 12 hits with no walks and five strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. That didn't concern Baker, who sent Volquez to Louisville on Monday.

"[Johnny] Cueto did not pitch well down there either [on a rehab assignment]," Baker said. "Sometimes when you go from the big leagues to the Minor Leagues, you have guys who are set up that don't know their setup. I don't know many guys that have been to the big leagues who go to the Minor Leagues to get their act together other than Homer [Bailey]. He pitched well. Other than that, most of them I know didn't.

"There have been guys throwing well down there, came up here, and didn't do nothing either."

Chapman has strong rehab outing at Triple-A

PHILADELPHIA -- Reds pitching coach Bryan Price was pleased with the reports, albeit brief ones, about Aroldis Chapman's first rehab assignment outing. Pitching one inning for Triple-A Louisville vs. Norfolk, Chapman worked a 1-2-3 first inning on eight pitches. He got two groundouts and an infield popout.

"I know he was pounding the glove -- seven out of eight pitches for strikes -- with some enthusiasm," Price said. "And he was ahead of hitters. He was in good counts, which is the key. If he's working ahead, he's going to be a force."

Chapman, on the 15-day disabled list since May 16 because of left shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to get two innings with Louisville on Thursday. Eligible for activation on May 31, he'll likely get one more outing after Thursday.

"We'd like to see him out there a couple of more times duplicating what he did yesterday, pounding the strike zone," Price said.

Reds option Frazier to Triple-A, recall Fisher

PHILADELPHIA -- It turned out that Todd Frazier's first big league promotion was tantalizingly brief. The infielder/outfielder, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Monday, was optioned back on Tuesday. The club recalled reliever Carlos Fisher.

Bronson Arroyo and Edinson Volquez combined for only 5 1/3 innings of starting pitching the last two games, which meant the Reds bullpen worked the remaining 10 2/3 innings. The team was strapped for a fresh arm.

"What are you going to do?" Frazier said. "There are some needs, and they had to do what they had to do. I got my feet wet, and hopefully the next time I get the call I will stay here longer."

Frazier struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning on Monday vs. the Phillies in his only Major League at-bat. But the native of nearby Toms River, N.J., savored the moment.

"It was one day. Not many people can say they played in a Major League game for one day," Frazier said. "I'll keep swinging like I did in Louisville and get back here in no time."

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.