8/12/2013 8:30 P.M. ET
Izturis on interference call: 'I wasn't doing anything'
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Getting a start at shortstop on Sunday, Reds infielder Cesar Izturis was involved in a weird play in which he was called for interfering with Padres baserunner Will Venable.
In the seventh inning with Venable on second base, pitcher Mike Leake fired an errant pickoff throw to the covering Izturis. As Venable dove back, the shortstop lunged for the ball and fell on top of the runner's back. As Venable tried to get up, he swung his hand at Izturis' groin area. Venable was awarded third base as umpires ruled that Izturis interfered.
"Maybe he thought I was blocking him," Izturis said of Venable on Monday. "I wasn't doing anything. I just dove for the ball. Maybe he was upset because of that. Yeah, he grabbed me."
Izturis, second baseman Brandon Phillips and manager Dusty Baker all argued the call. Baker's discussion with crew chief Joe West grew heated.
"The umpire said I grabbed him," Izturis said. "I told the umpire and Brandon told him that he was the one who grabbed me."
Venable was thrown out on a fielder's choice ground ball from Alexi Amarista on the next play.
Choo snaps slump in Sunday's extra-innings victory
CHICAGO -- On Sunday, leadoff hitter and center fielder Shin-Soo Choo ended the longest hitting slump of his brief tenure with the Reds at the most optimal time.
Choo ripped a one-out double to right field in the bottom of the 13th inning during the winning rally for a 3-2 win over the Padres. The hit snapped a 0-for-16 funk. He entered the at-bat 0-for-5 on the day.
"Hopefully I have turned it around and I will have a better series, starting today," Choo said on Monday in the visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field. "It was my first hit against San Diego this year [after also being 0-for-16]. That's part of baseball.
"It made me feel better [since] we've been winning games. I helped the team at the end of the game with the double."
Choo, who entered the day batting .276 and leading all Major League leadoff hitters with 15 home runs, 74 walks and a .410 on-base percentage, didn't diagnose any mechanical issues during his hitting drought.
"I always look at video of my at-bats to see if anything is different," Choo said. "I'll check, if I am hitting good or not. Mechanics is not really a big problem.
"Maybe it's mental, the approach. Most of the problem is mental -- you try to hit too much. You think too much sometimes. That makes it worse. Hopefully I have turned the page."
Mesoraco starts behind plate after catching 13 innings
CHICAGO -- On the heels of Devin Mesoraco catching all 13 innings during a Reds win over the Padres, manager Dusty Baker did not hesitate in writing his name on Monday's lineup card vs. the Cubs.
Mesoraco started behind the plate and caught for starting pitcher Mat Latos.
"What goes into it is he hits left-handers at an alarming rate," Baker said. "He's caught Latos all the time. He's probably not tired, because he's mixed [playing] time with everybody. He's  years old. He's not worn out."
Mesoraco entered the night batting .339 vs. left-handed pitchers and .219 against right-handers.
Baker did not ask Mesoraco how he felt before deciding to start him.
"Sometimes I ask them," Baker said. "Or, I watch how they get around. I've got a pretty good idea. If I see a guy walking in like Fred Sanford, I know he's sore."
• The Reds bullpen was operating somewhat shorthanded on Monday after the 13-inning game on Sunday. Baker said that Logan Ondrusek, who threw 43 pitches over 1 2/3 innings, was "a little sore." The club opted not to summon a reliever from Triple-A Louisville. Potential callup candidate Curtis Partch was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a right biceps injury.
"Our options aren't good," Baker said. "Who else can really help us right now that's on the [40-man] roster?"