BOSTON -- Reds catcher Brayan Pena was bothered by a tight left hamstring during Sunday's series finale vs. the Brewers and didn't start on Tuesday vs. the Red Sox. Rookie Tucker Barnhart started for Pena, but manager Bryan Price noted that had nothing to do with the injury.
Price wanted Barnhart paired as a batterymate with Tuesday's starting pitcher, Homer Bailey.
"I'm really using Homer and Barnhart quite a bit like how I'm using [Johnny] Cueto and Pena. That's really the reason Tucker is in there," Price said. "He's built a good relationship with Homer. I think that certain familiarity with guys is important. I think this is a pairing that's important to maintain as long as we can."
Price believed that Pena would be available, if needed.
"I don't expect there to be limitations, but we'll know more after batting practice," Price said.
Hand still swollen, Hamilton held out of lineup
BOSTON -- The swelling on the middle of Billy Hamilton's left hand had yet to subside. His failed attempt to swing a bat a few times had the Reds' rookie center fielder concerned about potentially going on the disabled list on Tuesday afternoon.
"After swinging the bat today, it's very tough," Hamilton said. "I did three swings, maybe. I couldn't hold on to the bat. The bat fell out of my hand."
A short time later, Hamilton was re-examined by medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. His status still remained unchanged, however.
"He looked at him and he's shown some improvement, but he's still the proverbial day to day," general manager Walt Jocketty said.
Hamilton, the team's regular leadoff hitter, has been limited to one pinch-running appearance since spraining two knuckles while making a diving catcher vs. the Brewers on Thursday. On Tuesday vs. the Red Sox, Skip Schumaker played center field while Chris Heisey led off and played right field.
Jocketty said Hamilton would not have to undergo a MRI exam of his hand.
"It's all about the pain," Jocketty said. "There's nothing, from what I understand, more he can do to damage it. It's just being able to tolerate the pain."
At this time, there were no plans to place Hamilton on the disabled list.
"Not yet," Jocketty said. "I don't know who we'd replace him with."
Organizationally, the Reds' system is strapped for outfielders. At Triple-A Louisville, Ryan LaMarre is on the DL. At Double-A Pensacola, both Donald Lutz and Yorman Rodriguez have been injured, and even at Class A Bakersfield, prospect Jesse Winker is on the DL with a concussion.
In the Reds' 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in 12 innings, the Reds turned to Hamilton for bunting duties. He pinch-hit for designated hitter Neftali Soto in the ninth and sacrifice bunted. In the 11th batting right-handed vs. Andrew Miller, Hamilton tried to push bunt for a single with nobody on base.
"We didn't really want to green light him to swing," manager Bryan Price said. "Of course, they kind of sniffed that out and had their corners in and he still had a nice push-bunt there from the right side but wasn't able to beat it. He's not at 100 percent."
Bernadina called up to take Bruce's roster spot
BOSTON -- Outfielder Roger Bernadina was back inside the Reds' clubhouse again, after spending three days off the roster when he was designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for the activation of Skip Schumaker.
After he cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Louisville, Bernadina had his contract selected Tuesday. He is taking the roster spot of right fielder Jay Bruce, who officially went on the 15-day disabled list after he had surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee. Bruce is expected to miss a month.
"You never know with baseball. I got the call and I was ready to come and join the team again," said Bernadina, who hadn't left Cincinnati yet while waiting in roster limbo. "I was ready for anything."
For the two-game series opener vs. the Red Sox, the Reds started Chris Heisey in right field while Schumaker was in center field for the injured Billy Hamilton (sprained left knuckles).
Manager Bryan Price didn't have a set plan for filling the void in right field.
"There will be certain parts, elements that will be matchups, guys that have certain histories against certain pitchers," Price said. "I don't want anybody to sit too long. We're in a situation now where no one has to do that. The challenge will be of course if Billy can't play. If Billy becomes a disabled-list-type guy, then we'll know exactly who our outfield regulars are."
Although Bruce struggled from the season's start while batting .216 with three home runs, 14 RBIs and a .352 on-base percentage in 30 games, Price felt there was definitely a loss that will need to overcome during his absence.
"He's a great player, an All-Star player, a Silver Slugger Award winner," Price said. "There are also a lot of great things beyond the statistical elements that Jay brings to our team. He's a guy that wants to play, shows up to play every day, plays the game hard, he plays it right and he's a tremendous competitor and a great teammate. And that will be missed."
Reds to honor couple who battled breast cancer
BOSTON -- Mike Shroder and Patty Stump were named as husband and wife co-winners for Major League Baseball's 2014 Honorary Bat Girl contest. Shroder and Stump, who are from Mason, Ohio, will be recognized during pregame ceremonies on Mother's Day Sunday when the Reds play the Rockies. They also received complimentary tickets for their family, commemorative Reds jerseys and pink wrist bands for breast cancer awareness.
Shroder and Stump were nominated by 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Josie Shuler.
"Mike and Patty are both breast cancer survivors, a rarity in the medical world according to the UC Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society," Shuler wrote in her winning nomination essay. "In 2006, Mike was diagnosed with breast cancer and beat it. Then a year and a half later, Patti received a breast cancer diagnosis. After four years cancer free, Patty was diagnosed with cancer once again, but she fought it. Mike and Patty both continue to fight the disease through fundraising and volunteerism for Susan G. Komen Foundation."
On Sunday, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards will also be pink. Games will use a pink stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game day baseball.
Numerous players will use pink bats and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the official bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother's Day games that have been authenticated by MLB will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit the fight against breast cancer.
• Making his third rehab outing and first for Triple-A Louisville, Aroldis Chapman allowed five runs while recording just two outs. In the 33-pitch outing, he gave up four hits, walked one, struck out one, tossed a wild pitch and hit a batter.
• The Reds announced that the April 28 rained out game vs. the Cubs has been rescheduled for July 8, as part of a day-night doubleheader at Great American Ball Park.
Fans with tickets from April 28 may present that same ticket at the game for the 1:10 p.m. ET makeup date with no exchanged needed.
Those unable to attend on July 8 may exchange their tickets at face value for a 2014 home game in the regular season (exclusions apply and subject to availability).