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08/28/12 10:30 PM ET

Votto appears in first rehab game

 Votto on return to action

PHOENIX -- In the first game of a two-game rehab assignment at Class A Dayton on Tuesday, Reds first baseman Joey Votto was 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout. Votto played five innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.

It was Votto's first game action since July 15. He left the lineup the following day and needed arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee. A second procedure was needed in August following a setback.

"That I'm able to play tonight speaks to the progress I've made," Votto told reporters in Dayton before the game. "I'm happy that I am finally back out on the field playing with the team and I'm able to play in a game. I'm not 100 percent yet, but usually when you do your rehab games, you aren't."

Votto is slated to play again on Wednesday for Dayton and rejoin the Reds in Houston this weekend. If he has no setbacks, he will likely be activated on Saturday, which is the first day that teams can expand their rosters.

The club opted against activating Votto on Friday.

"Then you'd have to send somebody out and you couldn't get them back for x-amount of time," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Every game is important, but at the same time, you have to do what's important, what's best for the team. I'd like to have Joey back yesterday if I could get him."

Chapman carves place in Reds history

PHOENIX -- When Reds closer Aroldis Chapman tied the single-season club record for consecutive saves at Philadelphia on Wednesday, he wasn't even aware of the record. On Monday in a 3-2 Reds win over Arizona, Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his 24th in row, breaking the mark he shared with John Franco (1988) and Rob Dibble (1991).

This time, Chapman was fully aware of the save's meaning.

"I feel happy now. I knew there was a record," Chapman said through an interpreter. "I'm happy it's me that broke this record and it's part of the history of this team."

Chapman entered Tuesday 5-4 with a 1.29 ERA and 32 saves in 59 games this season. His last blown save was June 24 vs. the Twins. He has only 30 hits and 15 walks allowed over 63 innings with 112 strikeouts.

The numbers have brought support for Chapman as a National League Cy Young Award contender.

"I know what it is, but I haven't thought about it," Chapman said. "Honestly, it's hard to be a reliever and win a Cy Young. Of course, I would love to."

Teammate Johnny Cueto is also considered a prime contender for the award.

"If somebody has to win it, I think it should be Cueto," Chapman said.

Frazier headed to bench when Votto returns

PHOENIX -- When once again asked Tuesday about what will become of infielder Todd Frazier when Joey Votto returns from the disabled list, Reds manager Dusty Baker repeated that Frazier would come off of the bench.

Baker maintained he plans to mix and match and plug Frazier in at first base, third base and left field when days off are needed for Votto, Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick. Frazier played two games at shortstop last season, but Baker has no plans to give him time at shortstop when Zack Cozart needs a break.

"I have a true shortstop in Wilson [Valdez]. You can't just put guys some place," Baker said. "It's going to cost you defensively. You've seen how close our games are. You cannot give away outs. It's not fair to put a guy out there in a position where he doesn't belong. We tried that last year with [Yonder] Alonso [in left field]."

Masset is unlikely to pitch this season

PHOENIX -- It's become unlikely that reliever Nick Masset will get to pitch for the Reds this season after he received the results of an MRI exam taken over the weekend.

Masset hasn't pitched all season because of a right shoulder injury. The MRI showed no change inside his shoulder since the last exam in April.

"That's why we're going to shut him down," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said Tuesday. "The lucky part is we don't treat the MRI, we treat the symptoms. His strength is tremendous. But still on occasion, he's having generalized soreness. It's not in a specific spot where he has it."

Last Tuesday in his most recent rehab assignment appearance for Triple-A Louisville, Masset gave up three runs, four hits and two walks without retiring a batter. He reported soreness the next day. Like most of the Minor League teams, Louisville's season ends on Monday, leaving Masset no other place to keep throwing.

"We're trying to get everything calmed down and keep strengthening," Lessard said.

Worth noting

• Tuesday's game offered a chance for two primary NL Rookie of the Year candidates to face each other in Frazier and D-backs starting pitcher Wade Miley.

"If anything, they ought to have two awards -- a Rookie of the Year and a rookie pitcher of the year," Baker suggested. "That'd be the fair thing to do. Frazier is playing potentially every day and Miley is pitching once every five."

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.