Notes: Milton activated, Burton to DL
Southpaw returns from injury to start series finale
CINCINNATI -- Relief pitcher Jared Burton became the first casualty of the cold weather Saturday when he suffered a strained left hamstring running in the outfield.
Burton was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, helping the Reds make room on the roster for left-hander Eric Milton, who was reinstated from the DL in time to start the finale of a three-game series with the Pirates at Great American Ball Park.
Burton, who walked three batters in two-thirds of an inning in his Major League debut on Wednesday, was in the clubhouse prior to Sunday's game with his left leg heavily wrapped.
"I was just running sprints before the game and it felt stiff," said Burton. "I came in early. I didn't want to take any chances. I wanted to play it safe. It's a long season."
Burton is not making the trip to Arizona. He expects to join the team on Friday in Chicago, where he'll begin throwing off the mound.
Milton, who went 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA in four Spring Training starts, had been on the 15-day disabled list since being scratched from his scheduled start in the Reds' final exhibition game due to back spasms.
Despite the continued cold weather, Reds manager Jerry Narron didn't expect Milton to take any extra precautions with his back during pregame warm-ups Sunday.
"Not any more than anybody else," Narron said.
The much-maligned Milton went 8-8 last season with a 5.19 ERA in 26 starts. After five straight solid outings by Reds starters, the club needs Milton to hold up his end of the bargain at the back of the rotation.
Asked how important it was for Milton to have a quality outing on Sunday, Narron said, "It'd be nice".
Keepsakes: Jon Coutlangus made his Major League debut on Saturday, tossing two-thirds of an inning, including a strikeout of Nate McLouth to end the sixth.
Prior to Sunday's game, Coutlangus asked a clubhouse attendant to pass the lineup card around so it could be signed by each of his teammates.
The 26-year old left-hander was able to retrieve the baseball from his debut, but it took some doing.
After catcher Javier Valentin tossed the ball into the stands following McLouth's strikeout, Aaron Harang was able to get the ball back from a fan and give it to Coutlangus.
Denorfia update: Even the simplest chore, such as changing his shirt, is a challenge right now for Chris Denorfia.
The 26-year old outfielder is expected to miss six months after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. His arm is in a brace and barely mobile, but with help from a few of his teammates Denorfia is maintaining a positive outlook.
"I have a great guy in Eddie Guardado who's going through it," Denorfia said. "He's keeping my spirits up. He's a positive guy."
Guardado underwent the same procedure on his left elbow, although he's farther along in the process than Denorfia, who was battling for a reserve outfield spot when he got hurt late in Spring Training.
Denorfia says he's being patient with the rehab process and enjoying being around the team.
"Just being able to shake everyone's hand when we win helps," he said. "It keeps me level-headed."
Dunn luck: Adam Dunn's unusual two-run home run in the first inning Saturday was still a topic of conversation in the Reds clubhouse on Sunday.
The ball landed in the glove of Pirates right-fielder Xavier Nady, but it bounced out of the pocket of his glove and into the first row of seats to tie the score at 2. The odd homer was a popular highlight on sports shows across the country.
"I thought it was going to be warning track distance, and it was," Dunn said.
Ahh Arizona: Since Monday's Opening Day game against the Cubs, which had a 72-degree game-time temperature, the Reds haven't began a game with a temperature above 39 degrees.
Saturday's game-time temp was a frigid 30-degrees, with wind chills much lower.
The good news for the Reds is they're headed to Arizona on Monday, where the high temperature has been in the low 90s with lows in the upper 80s.
"We can thaw out," Narron said.
Farm report: Triple-A Louisville dropped its first game of the season, 14-2, to Toledo. The 14 runs were the most allowed by Bats pitching since July 2005. Homer Bailey will start for Louisville in Sunday's finale of the season-opening four-game series. ... Double-A Chattanooga beat Mobile, 5-0, behind left-hander Camilo Vazquez, who allowed just one hit in six innings. Second baseman Drew Anderson went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. ... Class A Sarasota remained unbeaten (3-0) with a 7-6 victory over Ft. Myers. Left-hander Travis Wood earned his first victory of the season, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings. Jay Bruce went 3-for-4 with a run scored. ... Class A Dayton beat West Michigan, 8-7. Drew Stubbs had two hits and two runs scored.
Coming up: Following Sunday's series finale vs. Pittsburgh, the Reds travel to Phoenix, where they'll begin a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Monday at 9:40 p.m. ET. Right-hander Bronson Arroyo (0-1, 5.14) will make his second start of the season for the Reds. He'll be opposed by Diamondbacks left-hander Doug Davis (0-1, 0.00).
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.