Notes: Dunn, Lopez both have day off
Narron informed the players of his plan after Tuesday's game
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Rare is the time you won't see Adam Dunn or Felipe Lopez starting a game for the Reds.
An even rarer occasion is seeing Dunn and Lopez out of the lineup at the same time. Reds manager Jerry Narron gave his left fielder and shortstop the night off.
Narron informed the players of his plan after Tuesday's game. With the team getting a scheduled off-day on Thursday, both should return pretty fresh on Friday.
Dunn, 26, had been the only Reds player to start every game this season. He played 160 games in 2005, starting 153. In 2004, he started 156 of 161 games played.
"I'll be sitting around enjoying a big league baseball game," joked Dunn, who is batting .226 with 16 homers and 31 RBIs. "I get a couple of these a year."
Dunn, tied for second in the National League in homers, had a five-game hitting streak end Tuesday but is batting .184 in May.
This was only the second start in 47 games Lopez has missed. The 26-year-old has been Cincinnati's most consistent hitter lately with hits in 16 of his last 17 games, including a team-high 14 in a row.
"I don't like days off," said Lopez, whose 58 hits and 16 stolen bases lead the club. "But whatever [Narron] says. He's the boss."
Narron's Wednesday lineup definitely had a different look. Second baseman Brandon Phillips batted leadoff for the first time this year. The recently activated Cody Ross batted second and played left field. Utility infielder Rich Aurilia started at shortstop.
Lopez still saw action in Wednesday's 6-2 loss to Milwaukee. He entered the game during a seventh-inning double switch and went 0-for-1 with a groundout in his only at-bat.
: Thursday's off-day means starting pitchers, including top of the rotation members Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, will make their next starts on five days' rest -- instead of the usual four. Narron chose not to skip Friday's scheduled starter, Eric Milton, to keep everyone on their regular schedule.
"We don't want him to sit there for over a week," Narron said of Milton, who hasn't pitched since returning from the disabled list with a five-inning start on Saturday at Detroit.
: Back-to-back wins over Milwaukee on Monday and Tuesday improved the Reds to 6-1-1 in home series this season. Cincinnati entered Wednesday 14-8 at home this season. The club was 42-39 at Great American Ball Park and under .500 at home the previous two seasons.
Narron said there was no particular home field advantage benefiting the Reds this season.
"I've always thought that if anything, the other clubs have the advantage because we've got guys that can hit the ball out of any ballpark," Narron said.
Seen and heard
: Reds left-hander Kent Mercker threw on the side again Wednesday and had no issues with his elbow. Mercker is expected to come off the DL on Friday.
In his first start for Triple-A Louisville, pitcher Joe Mays allowed two earned runs and five hits over six innings in a 2-1 loss. Mays walked four and struck out five. A former Twins and Royals starter, he was signed to a Minor League contract on Friday.
Class A Dayton outfielder Jay Bruce and shortstop Eric Eymann used a day off to watch the Reds take batting practice on the field Wednesday. Both spent time talking with Ken Griffey Jr. and other players. Bruce was the organization's first-round draft pick last year.
: After taking an off-day on Thursday, the Reds will open a three-game series with the Diamondbacks on Friday. Milton (2-1, 7.04 ERA) will start the 7:10 p.m. ET opener against undefeated Arizona ace Brandon Webb (7-0, 2.44 ERA).