Lacking big bats, Reds lose 8-3 to Phillies

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm •  Published: May 18, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The short-handed Reds could have used some power bats on Sunday.

Unfortunately for Cincinnati, sluggers Jay Bruce and Joey Votto were still unavailable.

Cody Asche, Jimmy Rollins, Wil Nieves and Marlon Byrd all homered, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Reds 8-3.

Cincinnati's Devin Mesoraco had a career-high four hits, including two doubles and an RBI. The Reds, already without Bruce (knee), again played without Votto, who remained in Cincinnati during the three-game series with a left knee injury.

Manager Bryan Price said there is no timetable for Votto's return. The Reds are reluctant to put the four-time All-Star and 2010 MVP on the disabled list in hopes that he will return sooner than the 15 days required for the DL.

"We don't know exactly how much time it will take for him to be game-ready, so we don't want to make a commitment to a DL," Price said. "That's the challenge we have. We don't want to DL him and find out in two or three days he's ready to play. As long as we're somewhat comfortable having a four-man bench, we won't have to make a decision. Hopefully we get better news every day."

The Reds open a three-game series at the Nationals on Monday night, and Price couldn't say whether Votto even would be in Washington, let alone play.

Bruce, a two-time All-Star, is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday. Votto and Bruce have hit 330 combined homers.

The Reds certainly could have used some of that production on Sunday.

"The elephant in the room is the fact we have Votto and Bruce unavailable," Price said. "Those are pretty essential pieces. That being said, we do have players getting an opportunity to play and do some things. I was very, very optimistic going into today's game that we were going to do some really good things offensively. We got some things started, but we weren't able to finish."

Philadelphia's offense came to life for a second straight day. Despite playing in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies entered Sunday second-to-last in the NL in home runs with 27.

But they were riding the confidence of homering twice while scoring 12 runs in Saturday's victory, which snapped streaks of four straight losses and 23 consecutive scoreless innings.