Mesoraco Getting His Chance For Reds

Catcher Devin Mesoraco made his first big-league start Monday. Other than the fact that it came in a 4-3 loss, Mesoraco was pleased.

"It was good," Devin Mesoraco said. "It was fun to be back with Dontrelle (Willis) again. I wasn't nervous at all. Dontrelle was a guy I'd worked with in the past. ... We had a good game plan. He threw the ball well. There was no way he deserved to lose."

That ate at Mesoraco a bit.

"We made some mistakes that one inning (the fifth), myself included," he said "That's the way it goes sometimes. In one-run games like that, you can't give a team extra outs."

Willis was charged with a run-scoring wild pitch in the inning. Mesoraco thought it should have been rule a passed ball.

Mesoraco, the 23-year-old former first-round pick, will start Tuesday's game as well. He didn't start the first four games after being called up from Triple-A Louisville.

"As a catcher, you need a few days," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Catch some bullpens. Make sure you know all the signs. There's a lot to catching, not only the signs to pitchers, but pitchouts, throw-overs. We wanted to him to get his feet wet."

Mesoraco is the future.

"But we don't want to completely shelve (Ryan) Hanigan) and Ramon (Hernandez)," Baker said.

"Ramon's caught (Johnny) Cueto most of the time, and Hanigan's caught (Bronson) Arroyo. You want to keep some consistency and put young Mesoraco in where he's comfortable."

Reds Notes

--RHP Bronson Arroyo was hurting Monday after taking a Rafael Furcal line drive off his left leg Sunday. "It's about the same as (Sunday)," he said. "I'm going to take it easy today with the extra day. I think I'll be OK to pitch, but it's going to be tough to get in any leg workouts."

--LF Yonder Alonso got the start in Wrigley Field, where he struggled in two games in August. "I thought it would be easier here," manager Dusty Baker said. "You have the wind, but there's less territory. You don't have the sun field." Alonso misplayed one ball Monday.

--CF Drew Stubbs was in the second spot in the batting order Monday for the first time all year. "With the lineup I have today," Baker said, "I don't want him in the seventh or eighth spot because he can't run -- they'll walk him to get to the pitcher. (No. 8 hitter Paul) Janish hasn't been scalding it."

--LHP Dontrelle Willis fell to 0-5. Willis went seven innings and allowed four runs on six hits. He walked five and struck out eight. He has quality starts in eight of his 11 starts.

--1B Joey Votto is 0 for his last 11. That's two short of his season-high skid and five short of his career high.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- That's the number of balls Dontrelle Willis threw in the first three innings. He then threw 23 balls in the fourth alone.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's frustrating because I threw worse and won." -- LHP Dontrelle Willis on his 0-5 start.

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