Jay Bruce came into Friday batting .162 and .133 for this month while he’s in a 6-for-45 clip. Although he came a couple of feet from hit went hitting a grand slam in Thursday’s 4-3 win, he went 0-for-3 and had left seven on base. Bruce was given a night off from the lineup, but it wasn’t a benching. It had more to do with the fact that Giants lefty ace Madison Bumgarner was on the mound. Bruce is 2-for-17 (.118) lifetime vs. Bumgarner. Kristopher Negron started in right field.
“I’ve got to find my days for the other guys,” manager Bryan Price said. “I’m hoping to get Boesch in this series and give him a start. I have to pick my times for these guys. Sometimes if it’s a tougher match-up, I will do that. It’s nothing to read into anything other than a day off [for Bruce] against a tough lefty.”
*Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup after he missed two games with turf toe on his left foot. Phillips is using some orthotic inserts in his spikes to get some more comfort.
“He’s had the 48 hours of recovery time,” Price said. “He had a lot of treatment. He’s been seen by a foot specialist and all those things. We don’t force our players to play. We have to make sure that they’re comfortable being on the field. Most of them, if not all of them, are slightly banged up right now anyway. It’s just part of the grind of a long season.”
As he deals with turf toe on his left foot, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup Thursday — the second game in a row. Skip Schumaker started at second base vs. the Giants.
Phillips could return on Friday, however.
“I think it could be something that’s exacerbated by going out and playing nine innings,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I think he could pinch-hit, or in an emergency go out there and play defense. I think he could probably do anything but it makes more sense to look at him as a possible starter for tomorrow’s game as opposed to tonight’s. that’s just being conservative. If he had to play, he could play. I think the risk-reward, considering that we have Schu, that we have the pieces that can fill in and give him another day of rest is probably the most prudent decision.”
The Reds claimed right-handed reliever Ryan Mattheus off of waivers on Wednesday from the Angels.
Expected to arrive in Cincinnati on Thursday, Mattheus was 0-2 with 2.84 ERA in 11 appearances this season for Triple-A Salt Lake. He made one big league appearance for the Angels, working a scoreless inning with one walk and two strikeouts.
The 31-year-old Mattheus spent 2011-14 with the Nationals. His best season was 2012, when he worked a career-high 66 games and posted a 2.85 ERA. The Angels signed him in January.
In 146 career relief appearances, Mattheus is 7-7 with 3.58 ERA.
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The Reds designated veteran reliever Kevin Gregg for assignment on Monday. Right-handed reliever Pedro Villarreal was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.
Gregg, 36, was initially signed to a Minor League contract in February by Cincinnati and earned a spot on the club as a non-roster player. He opened the season as the eighth-inning setup man but produced disastrous results.
In 11 appearances, Gregg had a 10.13 ERA with 12 runs, 13 hits, five walks, 14 strikeouts and three home runs over his 10 2/3 innings.
The Reds bullpen entered the night ranked last in the league with a 5.56 ERA.
6:25 p.m Update — Zack Cozart was scratched.