Votto Makes Rehab Appearance

Though the Reds have built a seven game lead in the NL Central, there is still a lot of anticipation for the return of slugger Joey Votto. Last night he made his first rehab appearance at Dayton. He plans to make another appearance for the Dragons Wednesday before joining the team in Houston. Meanwhile the Reds kept rolling as Johnny Cueto became MLB's first 17 game winner this season.

Dayton opened the scoring with two runs in the fourth and added four more the next inning while cruising to a 9-3 victory over West Michigan at Fifth Third Field. Over 9,000 turned out to see Joey Votto make his first rehab appearance since going on the DL soon after the all-star break. He has yet to hit a fair ball after walking and striking out in two plate appearances.

Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Silva provided the offense in the fourth with back-to-back solo home runs. Nick O'Shea got things started with a lead-off single in the fifth which was the first of five hits in the inning, including a two-run single by Sammy Diaz. Silva also had an RBI single in the seventh and O'Shea struck again with another leadoff hit before he scored the final run in the eighth.

Silva had three hits and drove in three. Diaz added two hits and three more RBI. O'Shea also had three hits and Jefry Sierra added two. On the mound James Allen turned in a quality start allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings. He struck out five without a walk to improve his record to 8-4. Dayton will open a three-game home set against Great Lakes Wednesday.

Before the game Votto told Dayton reporters: "I'm happy that I am finally back out on the field playing with the team and I'm able to play in a game. I'm not 100 percent yet, but usually when you do your rehab games, you aren't." He is scheduled to make another appearance with the Dragons Wednesday before joining the Reds in Houston and if everything goes smoothly he will be activated this weekend. The Reds will likely wait until roster expansion to avoid complications of sending someone else back to Louisville.

Meanwhile the Reds kept rolling as they await Votto's return. Johnny Cueto became the first pitcher in the major leagues to win seventeen games this season as they won 5-2 at Arizona. That coupled with the St. Louis loss at Pittsburgh increased their division lead to seven games over the Cardinals with the Pirates nine games out. Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless ninth for his 33rd save. He did allow a walk which ended his club record-tying streak of 24 consecutive 1-2-3 innings.

In other Reds news manager Dusty Baker confirmed that after Votto's arrival Todd Frazier will continue his season coming off the bench. He plans to mix him in at third base, first base, and left field to give days off to the regulars. Frazier has been plugged into different positions as needed this season and responded with a year that has him at the top of the list of candidates for Rookie of the Year. He had two hits in the win last night including a single to start a three-run rally in the second inning and a triple to drive in the final two in the eighth. His stat line is now up to .295 AVG/.355 OB%/ .555 SLG% with 18 HR/62 RBI in 339 AB.

Other News from the Farm:

Louisville lost at home to Columbus 2-0 after they allowed two runs in the ninth inning. The Bats' lineup was limited to three hits on the night. Todd Redmond had a superb start. He tossed six shutout innings allowing five hits/two walks. Logan Ondrusek was charged with both runs and the loss. He's allowed four runs in four innings with the Bats.

Pensacola's game at Mississippi was rained out. They will wind up their season by hosting a five game set against Tennessee starting Friday. Bakersfield tied their home game against Visalia with three runs in the sixth. They took the lead with two in the eighth and added on with two more in the ninth in a 10-6 win. Steve Selsky, Dominic D'Anna and Juan Duran had three hits each for the Blaze while Theo Bowe and Chris Berset added two apiece. The Blaze got home runs from Berset, Selsky, and Stephen Hunt. Stalin Gerson was plagued by the long-ball and allowed four home runs in four innings. Overall he was roughed up for six runs on seven hits. Blaine Howell faced the minimum number of hitters when he tossed two innings for the win.

Billings lost a four-run lead in the eighth and came back to score in the bottom of the inning in a 9-8 home win over Helena. Jesse Winker led the way with three hits including two home runs and three RBI. Carlos Sanchez added a three-run homer. Joel Bender got the start and threw five shutout innings, allowing one hit/two walks. Matt Wiley blew a save on the first earned run he's allowed as a professional and hung around to pick up the win. His ERA is now 0.69 over 14 appearances.

The AZL Reds lost at home to the AZL Brewers 8-2. The Reds were held to four hits including a home run by Wilfrel Estevez. Luke Moran got the start and threw three shutout innings, allowing one hit/one walk. Jose Guzman was charged with four runs in two plus innings for the loss.

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