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04/18/10 5:56 PM ET

Dodgers out to ruin Reds' homecoming

Home couldn't come quick enough for the Cincinnati Reds.

Cincinnati's seven-game road trip started off promisingly enough, with a pair of wins in Florida. It went downhill quickly after that, however, with five straight losses, including getting swept in Pittsburgh.

The Reds, now 5-8 and in fifth place in the National League Central, get to catch their breath with Monday's off-day before hosting the Dodgers, who did not play particularly well in their first road trip (2-4) of the season, for three games beginning Tuesday night.

"We just have to keep fighting," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's the only thing you can do. Keep fighting and hopefully we'll get some breaks."

Homer Bailey will try to right the ship -- both his own and his team's -- in his third start of the year. Bailey has a 6.97 ERA and has allowed 15 hits over 10 1/3 innings thus far.

"I didn't locate the way I wanted to," Bailey said after his last start, when he allowed five earned runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts. "I made some stupid pitches. I knew they were short in the bullpen. I was trying to get guys out early and trying to be too fine, maybe."

The Dodgers haven't gotten that much time against Cincinnati's right-hander, but they've hit a collective .310 (13-for-42) against Bailey. Manny Ramirez has just five at-bats against Bailey, with a pair of hits, but he should add to that Tuesday. Ramirez didn't start for two straight games over the weekend because of a calf issue, though he did hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit home run Sunday. He should be ready to be inserted back into the starting lineup at the start of this series. That might be discomforting for the Reds since Ramirez has hit .396/.532/1.000 against Reds pitchers in his career.

"I talked to Stan [Conte, head athletic trainer] and as much as we'd like to have him in there, it's still important in April to do the right thing," manager Joe Torre said about the decision to hold Ramirez out Sunday. With the off-day tomorrow, we'll take advantage of that and we hope by Tuesday it will be all gone."

Dodgers: Bullpen changing shape
The first move was designating Russ Ortiz for assignment and bringing up Jon Link. It won't be the last.

By the time the Dodgers open this series, Hong-Chih Kuo should be activated from the 15-day disabled list, meaning Link's stay in the big leagues might be very brief. Assuming Ronald Belisario's back-to-back Sunday-Monday outings in extended spring training went well, the right-hander could be on his way soon as well. It's not entirely clear what roster move will be made to make room for Belisario, but it could be sending Rule 5 pick Carlos Monasterios back to the Phillies.

Reds: When will Rolen's back be back?
The hope was that third baseman Scott Rolen would feel improved enough to start against the Pirates on Sunday. But after he tested it out by taking some swings in the batting cage in the morning, he was scratched for the third day in a row.

"I'm feeling better," Rolen said before going into the cage. "I'm trying to figure out if I can play Major League Baseball. I can walk around like a normal human being. But that's a little different than what I'm being called upon to do."

Though Rolen is hitting just .219 over nine games, he has hit three home runs and helps change the dynamic of the lineup. The Reds scored just 10 runs in the three-game sweep at the hands of the Pirates. With the day off Monday, the hope is Rolen will be ready to be back at the hot corner Tuesday.

Worth noting:
With the Dodgers' win Sunday, they are now 2-1 in rubber games of a series. They lost to Florida last Sunday, then beat the D-backs on Thursday. ... All five of the Reds' wins in 2010 have come in their final at-bat, the most in the Majors. ... When Rolen returns to the lineup, it gives the Reds three Gold Glove winners in the infield, with Orlando Cabrera and Brandon Phillips.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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