MLB

Baker giving Bruce a couple days off

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CHICAGO (AP)

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker is giving slumping outfielder Jay Bruce a couple days off.

Bruce hit .213 in July and is batting .200 in August. He's hitless in his last 12 at-bats with seven strikeouts.

Baker said Friday the slump is ''like being in quicksand'' and called the time off a ''last resort.''

Even with Bruce slumping and slugger Joey Votto sidelined since July 15, Cincinnati entered Friday 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh in the NL Central.

Xavier Paul was in the starting lineup for Bruce on Friday. Third baseman Scott Rolen was also held out of the lineup for a third straight game due to a sore back.

Tagged: Reds, Jay Bruce

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