Votto, Latos dodge rain in rehab game

Mat Latos went 5 2/3 innings and Joey Votto was 1-for-3 Monday for Triple-A Louisville before rain ended their night and the game.

Mat Latos made his fourth rehab start with the Louisville Bats on Monday night. 

PATRICK L.PFISTER

Rain forced a delay and then eventual shortening in Louisville's Triple-A game at Pawtucket Monday night but not before Reds pitcher Mat Latos and first baseman Joey Votto were able to get in some rehab time in the Bats' 3-1 victory in six innings.

Latos was making his fourth start for Louisville as he tries to make his way back to the major league level for the first time this season following knee and elbow injuries. Votto has been on the disabled list since May 21 and hasn't played for the Reds since May 15 because of a distal quadriceps strain in his left knee.

Latos started Monday's game and allowed one run on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts on 82 pitches before the rain forced umpires to call for the tarp. Pawtucket had scored once in the sixth inning and had a runner on first base when the game was delayed. It was called a little more than an hour later.

The Reds were hoping Latos could throw between 90-100 pitches and go six innings before activating him. Cincinnati manager Bryan Price confirmed that Latos was able to throw another 18 pitches in an enclosed area underneath Pawtucket's McCoy Stadium.

"One of the things we wanted to accomplish today was getting the pitch count up," said Price Monday night. "I think we can safely anticipate if there are no issues with how he feels coming out of it, he'll probably be in the mix here time through the rotation."

Latos was pulled from his last start after 67 pitches as a precaution because of a calf cramp. He wasn't pleased about having to make this start and he very publically let everyone know about his displeasure. That didn't change the thinking of the Reds.

"I agree with him, as angry as he was with having to make another start, I agree with the fact that I think he's physically healthy," said Price before Monday's Reds-Dodgers game. "I think there are some benefits to getting stretched out a little bit more and being ready to take on a full workload when he gets here."

Price has been unwilling to answer or even speculate on Votto's return prior to Monday's game.

"I wish I could give you more. I'm just not that guy. I don't want to talk about anything that doesn't need to be talked about right now. I know you'd like to know but it really doesn't matter to me that you know."

After the game, Price allowed that he anticipates seeing Votto sooner than later but that the Reds will still wait to talk with trainers and Votto before making any decision.

Votto hit into a double play in the first inning Monday but singled his second time up in the third inning. He scored when Ruben Gotay followed with a home run to give Louisville a 3-0 lead. He struck out looking in his third at-bat. Votto also went 1-for-3 with a single in his first game on Sunday.

"He came out of (Sunday) well," said Price. "He got three at-bats in six innings and got a base hit. He came out of it feeling pretty good but I think the back-to-back will be a little more telling. We'll see how he responds today. I think that second game is probably the most important thing that he'll do over the course of this rehab. It'll be more telling of his readiness."

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