Votto works on surprise bunt during game

Votto works on surprise bunt during game

MESA, Ariz. -- It's Spring Training, why not try it?

In the sixth inning of the Reds' 4-2 victory over the Cubs, the bases were empty with one out when Joey Votto squared to bunt. The third baseman was playing way back on the dirt and Votto -- who hit 29 home runs last season -- took his chances with the unexpected.

It didn't work as he grounded back to pitcher Drew Rucinski for a routine out.

"He and Jay [Bruce] have spent a lot of time working on their bunting," Reds manager Bryan Price said after the game. "They're trying to take advantage when the situation dictates, leading off an inning down by a couple of runs or something to get something started, taking advantage of the shift and try to get on base.

"It's something both of them are working on a lot. They do it all day on the machine but until you get into these games and face live pitching, there is no real benefit to the work they're doing in the morning unless they apply it in the games."

Votto was 1-for-3 in the game with a sharply hit first-inning single that shot off of the glove of second baseman Arismendy Alcantara and into right field. Votto is 3-for-6 this spring.

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