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04/17/10 7:53 PM ET

Slumping Stubbs sits on Saturday

Outfielder is 2-for-21 with 12 strikeouts in last five games

PITTSBURGH -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs has been slowed by a stiff back this week, but that is only part of the reason for his omission from Saturday's lineup against the Pirates.

This is more telling: Stubbs is 2-for-21 in his last five games, with 12 strikeouts. He was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in Friday's loss. One of those K's was a called third strike over the heart of the plate in the top of the ninth with a runner on third base.

"We're giving him a day to observe," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He'll be back in there [Sunday]. You can get yourself straight by watching others sometimes."

Stubbs entered the night batting .182 with one home run and five RBIs. Chris Dickerson, who came in batting .364, was the leadoff hitter and played center field for the Reds.

Cairo a man of many gloves

PITTSBURGH -- When Reds utility infielder Miguel Cairo started at first base on Friday for an injured Joey Votto, it was his first game at that position since 2008 with the Mariners. Cairo did play some first base for Cincinnati in Spring Training.

"I can play there and feel in control. I felt fine out there," Cairo said.

On Saturday, Cairo started at third base in place of Scott Rolen, who missed a second successive start with a stiff back.

Over his career, the 35-year-old Cairo has played every infield position and both corner outfield spots. He takes ground balls at every spot to be prepared.

"I've got plenty of gloves," Cairo said. "You never know when or where you're going to play. You always have to be ready, like yesterday, when Joey wasn't in there."

Cairo's versatility helps manager Dusty Baker stretch his bench and gives him a veteran he can plug in just about anywhere for a start.

"It's one reason he made the club, too, for that purpose," Baker said. "It's going to help him in the long run to get some consecutive at-bats when I do need him to come off the bench. He's a guy that's done exactly that most of his career. You need those guys to help see you through times."

Worth noting

Outfielder Laynce Nix, who has been sick the last few days, was considered available to pinch-hit on Saturday. "He's not ready to run or play nine innings yet," Baker said. ... Yonder Alonso entered Saturday batting .207 (6-for-29) with no homers, two RBIs, six walks and six strikeouts for Double-A Carolina. Alonso has played left field and first base.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.