Loving it on the road

The Reds enter Saturday night 8-3 on the road this season, which is their best road start since 2002 when they also were 8-3. If they win tonight or tomorrow, that will be four-straight winning road series. The club hasn’t done that since August, 2005.

The back-to-back shutouts Wednesday and Friday were the first since the Reds blanked the Dodgers twice on Aug. 7-8, 2007. There haven’t been three-straight shutouts since June 21-23, 1963.

As expected, Chris Dickerson is back in the lineup for the first time since Monday (concussion-like symptoms).

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Dickerson LF
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Hernandez C
Rosales 3B
Gonzalez SS
Owings P

Dusty Baker was asked if he was tempted to keep Ryan Hanigan behind the plate since he hits whenever he plays. In his five games when starting (all with Arroyo pitching), Hanigan is batting .412 (7-for-17). Ramon Hernandez is batting .246 but has come on lately.

“What are you going to do with Ramon who is just getting his stroke together?”Baker said. “If you have a good team, I don’t think this team is used to having so many good players at as many positions. Ramon is my catcher but when Hanny plays, he does his thing and we win. That way will keep him sharp and keep Ramon strong through the rest of the season.”

In the eighth inning Friday after walking, Adam Rosales was picked off by lefty reliever John Grabow and immediately after reaching the dugout was spotted speaking with top base stealer Willy Taveras. It was Rosales who sought out Taveras for the help.

“There’s a lot to learn and a lot of new information,” Rosales said. “Stealing with lefties, I have to get better. I just went first move on that guy. Some lefties you can pick up easily but I haven’t been up here long enough and we had a steal sign. I asked Willy if it was the smart thing to do if we have a steal sign. He said it was all you can do, really.”

Dickerson, Paul Janish and Darnell McDonald were among those that got extra swings in early BP today. Janish hasn’t played since Sunday vs. the Braves.

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At what point to we start giving Hannigan a few more shots? Also, I don’t want to jump the gun, but Rosales might be a good one to move up in the order if he continues to get on base. And, I’ll say it again, our three, four, five could use a bit of experimentation…what could it hurt?

How can you sit Lance Nix?

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