04/11/12 5:30 PM ET
Votto breaks out with four hits against Cards
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
"It's just a matter of combating it. He'll figure it out. We certainly need him."
Cozart feeling right at home in No. 2 spot
CINCINNATI -- Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart has been good in the second spot of the lineup, and the No. 2 spot in the order has been good for him over the years."I've been in the second spot pretty much my whole career," Cozart said on Wednesday. "I've been doing that ever since I've been in pro ball. I love hitting in the two-hole." By going 2-for-5 in the series finale against the Cardinals on Wednesday, Cozart remained the hottest hitter on the Reds, batting .455 (10-for-22) in the first six games, with two doubles, two triples and two RBIs. During Spring Training, he batted .345 and led the club with 20 hits. One advantage the 26-year-old Cozart has in the Majors, which he didn't enjoy in the Minors, is hitting one spot ahead of Joey Votto. "Right now, I'm getting some balls over the plate and putting good swings on them," Cozart said. "Early in the game, they're not going to want to walk me, obviously, to get on base for Joey. If I get into a good hitter's count, the pitcher will probably come with something over the plate. That's certainly a good thing. That's helping me out."
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Cozart is the first Reds rookie to hit safely in each of the first six games of a season since Frankie Baumholtz in 1947.
Reds closer Ryan Madson, who tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow during Spring Training, was scheduled to have Tommy John surgery on Wednesday afternoon. For the second straight game, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was not in the lineup because of a sore left hamstring. Phillips wasn't expected to play, especially with the recent cold weather. Manager Dusty Baker was hopeful, but noncommittal about whether Phillips could play in the next series at Washington. "He wants to be ready, but he's not," Baker said. "You have to do a lot of stuff at second base, if you play it the way he plays it. You just don't want him to feel obligated [to play] because he just signed a contract. That's a separate issue."