video thumbnail

CIN@MIL: Hart bats for the first time in 2011

Sam LeCure is enjoying his role as the Reds' swing guy. The Brewers, meanwhile, will welcome back Corey Hart's swing.

That's the story for Wednesday's game between the Reds and Brewers at Miller Park -- with LeCure, the Cincinnati right-hander, throwing on seven days' rest after being pushed back from Sunday, and Hart, last year's All-Star Game starter, making his season debut in the lineup for Milwaukee. He grounded into a fielder's choice in a pinch-hit appearance during the Brewers' 3-2 win over the Reds on Tuesday.

For LeCure, who will start against Brewers righty Yovani Gallardo, the uncertainty of when he'll start games comes with the big league territory.

"Sometimes it can be good or bad, depending on the type of pitcher you are," LeCure said.

"For a power guy, I imagine it'd be a little more beneficial. For a guy like me, you want to be on the mound as much as possible. It's all about the feel of being out there and doing that. On the other hand, I'm a feel guy and it comes quick. It'll either be there or it's not. I feel good about it. Part of my gig on the team is to be the swing guy. I just had to swing a little earlier in the rotation."

Meanwhile, Hart is back, and just in case anyone has forgotten how important he is to Milwaukee because they've been concentrating on the Zack Greinke injury, remember that Hart hit 31 homers and drove in 102 runs last year.

Hart was 2-for-15 on his rehab assignment but downplayed those numbers, saying he approached at-bats differently than he would in the big leagues because he just wanted to see pitches.

"It actually worked out, because four of the guys that I faced were big prospects, so they had good arms," Hart said. "It was nice to see velocity from guys with good movement and good stuff. I wasn't worried about performance. I was just trying to see the ball, and I saw the ball fine."

Overall, he said he's happy to be playing again.

"It was all right," he said of the Minor League stint. "For me, it was nice just to get out there."

Reds: Votto in the books again
• First baseman Joey Votto worked two walks on Tuesday and has reached base safely in all 24 games to start the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Reds' modern record for consecutive games reaching base safely to begin a season is 34 by Dave Collins in 1981.

• Until he gave up a leadoff homer to Rickie Weeks in Tuesday's eighth inning to take the loss, reliever Logan Ondrusek had not allowed a hit in any of his previous four appearances, spanning 4 2/3 innings, and he hadn't allowed an earned run in any of his last five appearances (5 2/3 innings).

• Closer Francisco Cordero is one of only 11 pitchers in Major League history with 100 saves in each league, according to Elias. He has accomplished the feat for the Reds and the Texas Rangers.

Brewers: Gallardo looking to rebound
• Since throwing his two-hit shutout on April 5 vs. Atlanta, Gallardo is 1-1 with an 8.27 ERA in three starts, having given up 15 earned runs in his last 16 1/3 innings pitched. He is 2-3 with a 5.26 ERA in nine career starts vs. Cincinnati.

• Ryan Braun homered in Tuesday's game and has now reached base safely in each of the team's first 23 games, which tied Hall of Famer Robin Yount in 1983 for the longest streak in franchise history to begin a season, according to Elias.

• Closer John Axford has not surrendered a run in six home appearances (six innings, five saves) but has a 16.20 ERA in four road appearances (3 1/3 innings, six earned runs, no saves).

Worth noting
Reds third baseman Miguel Cairo was not in Tuesday's lineup but will get the start at the hot corner for Wednesday's game. ... Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez is on a current six-game hitting streak (10-for-27, .370, one home run, four RBIs). He leads the team in stolen bases with six. Comments