Trying to avoid sweep

Thurs lineup vs. LAD

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Miller 2
Arroyo 1

*It was a relatively quiet morning in the clubhouse. I asked Jay Bruce a little about the meeting Dusty Baker held yesterday with the hitters. The Reds have been outscored, 25-5, in their last three games. Until a run scored in the sixth inning yesterday, there was one run scored in a span of 22 innings, including 14-straight scoreless. No one came of Baker’s meeting feeling a sense of panic.

“This is a game of failure, it’s tough. Panicking, it feeds itself,” Bruce said. “A little comes here and little more comes there when there’s more failure. It’s a downward spiral. You have to take a step back and realize it’s just been a few games. All it takes is a few games to turn it around. He reminded us of the fact that we are a good team. We are a winning team and this stuff doesn’t last.”

*OF Chris Dickerson, who has been on the DL since April 30 and had right hand/wrist surgeries, took fly balls this morning with coach Billy Hatcher and has been hitting soft tosses in the cage.

“It’s going pretty well,” Dickerson said of the hitting. “I don’t feel like the power is even close. But it’s getting close to where it’s pain free. It’s just a matter of time. Hopefully, by Sunday, I will be taking light batting practice. I might even try acupuncture to see if anything can loosen up the tightness in my forearm.”

*Edinson Volquez (Tommy John surgery rehab) pitches tonight for Class A Lynchburg vs. Kinston. It will be Volquez’s second rehab assignment start.

*Next up is a trip to the West Coast through Seattle and Oakland for more Interleague Play. This could be a big test since the Reds are 13-32 (.289) on the West Coast over the last four seasons. They were 2-4 on the previous swing through Seattle and Oakland in 2007 — with one win at each stop. The first two games vs. the Mariners should continue the run of solid pitching against the Reds — Cliff Lee starts Friday and Felix Hernandez is scheduled for Saturday.

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