Bruce sits out third straight game with strained right calf

Manager Price calls move precautionary, expects outfielder back Saturday

Bruce sits out third straight game with strained right calf

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, who was expected to return to the lineup Friday, was scratched from the game vs. the Dodgers. It is the third straight game Bruce has missed because of a strained right calf.

The decision to keep Bruce out was viewed as precautionary, because he has recovered from the injury.

"We're doing the all's-good-one-more-day thing," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We thought we were there yesterday, but we'll do it today. There's a very good chance he'll be in there tomorrow. We decided once we got here today, to give it one more day. No injuries are good injuries, but when you're that close to being 100 percent, I'd be sick to my stomach if he strained his calf when we know he's not quite at 100 percent. "

Other injury news:

• Catcher Devin Mesoraco (concussion) could return to the Reds lineup sometime this weekend. Mesoraco hasn't played since March 7.

"He's come full circle," Price said. "I think they have to do one more of those days of testing and stuff like that. He's done everything, he's caught in the 'pen, he's hit. We're doing some blocking stuff today with the baserunning drill."

• Center fielder Billy Hamilton (sore right shoulder) could also return on Sunday or Monday. Hamilton was injured March 6 vs. the Cubs during a wall collision.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.