5/27/2014 8:59 P.M. ET
Frazier steps up with stakes high
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- When the Reds' Todd Frazier stepped up the plate to lead off the eighth inning on Monday vs. Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, he knew a lot was at stake. Ryu was working on a perfect game after retiring his first 21 batters in a row. The Dodgers, who got a no-hitter from Josh Beckett on Sunday in Philadelphia, were trying to be the first team to throw no-hitters in consecutive games.
"It's a lot different, especially since they threw one before that," Frazier said on Tuesday. "For me, I went to the bathroom and kind of looked myself in the mirror and said, 'Shake yourself a little bit.' I remember my old high school coach and Dad said, 'Let's go pick yourself up one time.'"
On a 1-0 changeup, Frazier lined a double to left field. It started a three-run rally in which the Reds sent nine men to the plate before falling short in a 4-3 loss. The hit disappointed the 45,505 fans at Dodger Stadium, who were getting louder with each passing inning.
"You're definitely aware, since they're at their home stadium," Frazier said. "You can feel it. You can understand the situation. It might make you a little more tense, but for me, I knew that in the top of the eighth this might be my last at-bat. You have to do something with it -- hit the ball hard. It's what I try to do every at-bat. Lucky for me, I figured out what he was throwing me the first two at-bats, even though I saw three pitches. I got a pitch up, which you have to do damage with."
Votto appears unlikely to return on Saturday
LOS ANGELES -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, but there were no signs Tuesday that that would happen.
Votto, who did not travel with the team, is making progress with his distal strain on his left quadriceps muscle, according to manager Bryan Price.
"We're in a good positive stage with him," Price said on Tuesday. "The pain hasn't completely subsided with him, but it has diminished incrementally and the strength is getting better."
Votto hasn't played since May 15 and went on the DL last Wednesday. What's missing from his status is a timeline for a return.
"This particular injury doesn't have a due date on it," Price said. "Our target goal is to get him pain free and get his strength up to a level to expect his performance to be more like what we've seen in the past. I'm not sure we can get there all the way this year. But we want to get him to a place where he's confident he will not have regression.
"We really are on a day-to-day basis with this thing."
Schumaker gets a nod against Greinke
LOS ANGELES -- Based partially on his past success vs. Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke, Skip Schumaker was given the start by Reds manager Bryan Price on Tuesday. Schumaker was slotted at second base in place of Brandon Phillips, who got a night off.
Schumaker entered the night 5-for-17 (.294) lifetime vs. Greinke, while Phillips was 3-for-16 (.188).
"I am a believer in playing my bench," Price said. "I haven't been great at it with [Neftali] Soto when he was here and with [Ramon] Santiago as much as I'd like. I'd like these guys to play, and it might mean five or six games off over the course of the year for the regulars -- more for some and less for others.
"Believe me, I will not do that as a form of punishment or sending messages. That's not the point. I do believe our regulars need periodic rest."
The last day off for Phillips came on May 2 whilst he was in a slump. In the 20 games since, he's batted .305 (25-for-82).