"It's definitely nice to play but you want to help out. If I go out there and don't help, it's no fun," Mesoraco said after the game with his hip wrapped in ice. He said he felt fine while playing.
Mesoraco had made all of eight pinch-hitting appearances since his last start and was 0-for-5 with three walks. Overall, he is batting .067 with two hits in 30 at-bats. Because he can still hit and run the bases, the Reds have resisted placing the 2014 All-Star on the disabled list -- despite the likelihood he could require surgery to repair his hip.
"I thought I didn't see any reservations to what he was doing," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think the biggest challenge, of course, was over the last 3 1/2 weeks of having a small number of at-bats and coming in there facing a guy with a power fastball-slider combo [in lefty Carlos Rodon]. I probably didn't do him any favors, but I felt with what we have here in the number of left-handed hitters, we really had to line up as many right-handers for the second game and that's why I chose Game 2 for him to start."
Mesoraco planned on being ready to DH again in Sunday's series finale.
"No reason why I can't," he said.
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.