SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto exited his outing early Friday as a precaution because of tightness in his right forearm.

Scheduled to work four innings against the Rangers, Cueto lasted only two frames while throwing 40 pitches. He allowed two earned runs, four hits and one walk with two strikeouts. Reds pitching coach Bryan Price visited the mound during the bottom of the second, but Cueto was allowed to continue pitching.

The injury, which Cueto first felt warming up in the bullpen, is not currently believed to be serious.

"It was sore when I threw the breaking ball. I'm fine," Cueto said.

Cueto, 25, is scheduled to be examined by team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek on Saturday.

"He has some tightness in his mid-forearm," head trainer Paul Lessard said. "It's not his elbow, which we were happy about. He just felt like he couldn't loosen up when he was pitching. We said instead of keeping to send him out there, why not just sit him down so it doesn't turn into anything."

Cueto, who was signed to a four-year, $27 million contract in January, is slated to be Cincinnati's No. 3 starter in the rotation.

"Knock on wood -- we've had very little of anything this spring," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of injuries on the club. "You know you're going to have something. You try to take every precaution, which we did by taking him out."

Stubbs the likely leadoff man

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked Friday if he had settled on a leadoff hitter with three weeks left in camp. Baker took a long pause and then tipped his hand on the question for the first time all spring.

"Probably [Drew] Stubbs, still," Baker said. "If it doesn't work, I can go to somebody else. So far, our best leadoff hitter isn't quite ready for the big leagues."

Baker was likely referring to hot-hitting outfielder Dave Sappelt, who actually led off Friday's game vs. the Rangers. Stubbs, normally the center fielder, was the designated hitter in the game and batted second.

Of the veterans, the Reds have used Stubbs, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Fred Lewis to lead off at various times in spring games. Stubbs has gotten the most chances, however. He's also the fastest baserunner on the team.

Stubbs was the leadoff hitter at the start of the regular season last year, but struggled out of the gate. In 34 games batting first, he had a .220 average with a .324 on-base percentage. He batted further down in the order and had more success, batting .255 with 22 home runs, 77 RBIs and .329 OBP. One other concern about Stubbs batting leadoff is his 168 strikeouts in 2010, which led the club.

No concern about Votto's slow spring

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In a game that featured both reigning Most Valuable Players, Reds first baseman Joey Votto had his best hitting performance what has been a slow spring.

During the Reds' 5-5 tie with Josh Hamilton's Rangers, Votto was 2-for-3 with an RBI single through the right side in the first inning, and a double to left field in the third inning. Hamilton was 1-for-3 with a blooped RBI single to short left field in the first inning.

Entering the day, Votto had struck out eight times in his 16 at-bats. Although he hit .352 in camp last year, he's been prone to having lackluster Spring Training numbers.

"The first year here, I didn't know what to think," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I liked what I saw in BP. I liked his regular-season stats. It just didn't equate to what I was seeing in Spring Training. It takes him a while to get his timing and zero in on his concentration. I'm not worried about him. I've seen guys every spring kill it in Spring Training, but when they put that third deck on top, wouldn't hit a lick."

Worth noting

The Reds have taken several players from their Minor League camp for Saturday's split-squad game vs. the Cubs in Las Vegas. The team departed for the airport immediately after Friday's game vs. the Rangers. Included on the trip are prospects like shortstop Billy Hamilton and outfielder Juan Duran.

"I try to bring a lot of young guys, let them travel with the big league club, put on big league clothes, and act like big leaguers on the plane," Baker said. "It's a reward to some to go to Vegas for the first time. This will create memories they'll never forget."

Among the regulars, Joey Votto and Drew Stubbs also took the trip to Las Vegas.

"That's because they really requested that Votto come," Baker said. "They advertised it that Votto was coming before we even asked Votto. That's part of the obligation that comes with being the MVP, which he's going to run into most of the year. But he's in the process of learning of when to give and when to save some for himself and the team."