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05/23/12 6:55 PM ET

Baker's advice kickstarts Cozart's season

CINCINNATI -- It wasn't quite a phone a friend, or ask the audience, but Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart found a lifeline that might have helped him escape a prolonged slump.

It was advice from manager Dusty Baker, who was loath to take any credit for helping Cozart.

"We're all here to help," Baker said on Wednesday. "He just wasn't starting soon enough. Sometimes you see certain things and you hope whatever you saw can be the thing that gets a young man back on his way. It's very discouraging to make outs, especially if you're getting pitches to hit and not hitting them. I could see the frustration on his face."

Cozart was 2-for-26 on the previous seven-game road trip, but entered Wednesday 4-for-11 in his last three games with two home runs.

Overall, Cozart came into Wednesday's game batting .239 with five homers and 11 RBIs. Baker gave him a day off on Saturday at New York to help him regroup.

"Sometimes you get out of synch," Baker said. "Usually it's something very minor that puts you back into synch. You're looking for something that's a major adjustment that you have to make, but usually it's something so minor that you can't see it, because you take certain things for granted sometimes."

Stubbs gets Wednesday off to rest

CINCINNATI -- For the first time since May 3, center fielder Drew Stubbs was out of the starting lineup as the Reds played the Braves on Wednesday. It was just a break for Stubbs and not due to an injury. In Monday's game, he hit his left shoulder on the ground to make a nice sliding catch.

"I'm fine," Stubbs said. "I just kind of landed awkwardly and got up a little slow."

Reds manager Dusty Baker has been giving regulars breaks as his team is in the midst of a 20-games-in-20-days stretch.

Stubbs made the defensive play of the game on Tuesday. In the fourth inning as Freddie Freeman led off with a deep drive to the wall in right-center field, Stubbs made a perfect one-hop throw from the warning track to nail Freeman at second base.

"It definitely feels good to do that," Stubbs said. "My defense has always been something I've worked hard on and take a lot of pride in. For Freeman to hit that ball to lead off the inning and potentially have a leadoff runner on second, to cut him down like that was a big boost for us as a team."

Masset could throw on Thursday

CINCINNATI -- There is a good chance on Thursday that injured Reds reliever Nick Masset will throw a baseball for the first time in about a month. Masset has not pitched all season due to a strain in his right shoulder.

Masset is tentatively slated to begin a throwing program. The last time he threw in April, he had to shut down after only a few tosses due to soreness.

"We've got our fingers crossed that he doesn't feel anything and that it's healed," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I know he's champing at the bit."

Masset reported on Tuesday that his shoulder was feeling good.

Worth noting

Wednesday's Reds pitcher, Bronson Arroyo, made the 300th Major League start of his career when he faced the Braves.

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.