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8/28/2014 5:00 P.M. ET

Frazier more comfortable with role at first base

CINCINNATI -- Todd Frazier's route from the field to the dugout and back has become a little shorter over recent days. Normally the Reds' third baseman, Frazier's time at first base has been increasing.

On Thursday vs. the Cubs, Frazier started his third straight game at first base, and it was also his fourth time in five games. It has allowed manager Bryan Price to get hot-hitting utility player Kristopher Negron into the lineup at third base.

"I haven't really talked to [Price] about it, but with Negron doing so well, why not?" Frazier said Thursday morning. "He's a great defender. He's a great utility guy. You want to put the guy in that's hot right now. You have Skip [Schumaker] doing well too.

"As a manager, you have to play the guy that's hot and find the right place for him. If that means moving me to first base, that's awesome."

To try to fill the void without the injured Joey Votto since July 6, the Reds have often used backup catcher Brayan Pena at first base. On days Pena needs to catch, Frazier has been used to step in. Thursday marked his 27th game at first base. He didn't play there at all last season, when Votto played all 162 games. In 2012, Frazier played the position 39 times.

"I feel great over there," Frazier said.

During Wednesday's 7-5 win, Negron sparked a four-run fourth inning by hustling for a double and scoring the go-ahead run. He also helped turn a key double play in the first inning.

"He's looked very comfortable over there," Frazier said. "He made some great plays yesterday. He's got a great arm."

Bruce fans five times as Reds rout Cubs in finale

CINCINNATI -- It was an overall splendid day for a Reds lineup that tallied 11 hits on Thursday in a 7-2 victory over the Cubs to win a three-game series.

Take away the victory, and it would be a miserable afternoon at the plate for Jay Bruce. The right fielder went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts -- the rare platinum sombrero, perhaps.

A five-strikeout game has happened only seven times in Reds history since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It last happened on the club to Adam Dunn at Arizona on Aug. 20, 2002.

Here are the others, which all happened in games that lasted longer than nine innings:

Eric Davis on April 25, 1987, vs. the Astros (10 innings).
George Foster on Aug. 8, 1972, vs. the Dodgers (19 innings).
Pete Rose on Aug. 15, 1970, vs. the Phillies (14 innings).

Deron Johnson did it twice in just over one month of the 1964 season -- on Aug. 29 vs. the Astros in 11 innings and Sept. 30 vs. the Pirates in a 16-inning game.

Bruce went down swinging in four of his five strikeouts and ended an inning three times. In the sixth inning, after he got the golden sombrero with strikeout No. 4 while facing Wesley Wright, boos echoed from the 21,316 fans at Great American Ball Park. In the eighth, Bruce chased a Kyuji Fujikawa pitch outside for his fifth strikeout and heard more boos.

Only two of the Reds eight position players came up hitless on Thursday -- Bruce and Skip Schumaker.

Bruce, who went 3-for-25 on the homestand, is batting .218 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs this season.

Prospect Corcino optioned to clear space for Axelrod

CINCINNATI -- Before Thursday's series finale, the Reds made the expected recall of pitcher Dylan Axelrod from Triple-A Louisville to start against the Cubs.

To make room on the roster, right-handed pitcher Daniel Corcino was optioned to Louisville. Corcino, 24, made his Major League debut during Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Chicago. He worked a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts.

Normally a starting pitcher and the Reds' No. 11 prospect, according to MLB.com, Corcino was called up Friday from Double-A Pensacola to add bullpen depth. In all likelihood, he will return to the Reds as a September callup once Louisville's season ends.

Price, Reds discuss callups during stretch run

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' front office has been meeting in recent days to discuss potential September callups from the Minor Leagues. Major League rosters can expand from 25 to 40 players on Monday.

"I think we're going to get somewhere in the neighborhood of seven to nine, I would say," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think that would be a reasonable assumption. There are some guys that we would really like to see. It kind of gives us a chance to take a better look at guys given that opportunity."

If that many names are on the list, it would mean that some new faces will be joining the familiar past callups from Triple-A Louisville, such as catcher Tucker Barnhart, outfielder Donald Lutz, infielder Neftali Soto and relievers J.J. Hoover and Curtis Partch.

"We've talked about a lot of guys, but we have some guys [who] haven't been here that are being discussed," Price said, without specifying names. "It will be interesting to see how much playing time they get, because a lot of that will be dictated by where we are in the standings. You can't really showcase your young players and give them a lot of opportunity if you're still chasing a postseason spot."

Only a handful of players on the 40-man roster have yet to play in the big leagues, including Double-A Pensacola outfielders Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Duran.

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.