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COLUMN

This week in baseball: Votto keeps on reaching base

Reds slugger isn't showing power, but is patience

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 12:01 am

This week the Tigers come home to face the Royals on Tuesday through Thursday, then host the Braves on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.

Justin Verlander and Max Scherger became the first Tigers starters since 1984 to have back-to-back double-digit strikeout efforts Wednesday and Thursday in Seattle.

But Verlander lost his start, showing the Tigers don’t always score enough runs.

Speaking of not many runs, some Reds fans are worried about Joey Votto.

They shouldn’t be, because a closer look at his stats would make "Moneyball" fans happy.

Votto as of Thursday was batting .277 with just one homer, three RBIs and 14 strikeouts. But his on-base percentage led the National League with 22 walks at .521 (he’s gotten on base in every game). With Brandon Phillips and others hitting well, the Reds are OK. Votto is up to three homers after Sunday, by the way.

The Reds, after hosting the Cubs for three at 6:10 p.m. today and Tuesday before ending the series at 11:35 a.m. Wednesday, then hope to do better against Washington the second time around with four games with the Nationals through Sunday.

Even the basement-dwelling Cubs had some reasons to be happy this week.

The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo hit the longest home run of the season Friday, according to ESPN, estimated at 474 feet at Wrigley.

Now the Cubs continue their10-game road trip, with three at the Reds before four in Miami over the weekend.

As for the South Siders, the last-place White Sox host Cleveland today through Wednesday afternoon before starting a series with Tampa Bay on Thursday through Sunday.

Adam Dunn is off to another slow start in Chicago, hitting.098 with 23 strikeouts in 61 at-bats this season before weekend action, and with Dayan Viciedo on the 15-day DL, runs have been tough to come by. But don’t worry, Sox fans, Cleveland’s coming to town, and Dunn’s been known to get hot vs. Tribe pitching.

Cleveland was swept vs. the Red Sox (helping Boston fans feel better more than just playing "Sweet Caroline"), and lost 3-2in Houston on Friday.

The Tribe, which had lost five games in a row, broke out of its slump by scoring 19 runs Saturday night. A highlight was when Mark Reynolds of the Tribe was batting in the first inning against Philip "Perfect Game" Humber. Reynolds told the home-plate umpire the ball hit him, bu the responded, "You didn’t act like it did."

"What do you want me to do? Cry?” Reynolds asked.

Reynolds then hit a three-run homer as part of eight-run first inning.

The Tribe’s road trip continues this week with the ChiSox today through Wednesday before moving on Kansas City for four with the Royals Thursday through next Monday.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. E-mail Rick Rimelspach at rrimelspach@news-sentinel.com.