Peraza takes bite out of Angels pitching

Peraza takes bite out of Angels pitching

ANAHEIM -- It's doubtful that the dentist on Tuesday morning prescribed Reds shortstop Jose Peraza to get four hits to make his pain go away. But maybe besides some Novocaine, it was the next best thing.

One night after leaving game because he was struck by a ball on the right side of his face and breaking a tooth, Peraza went 4-for-4 for the Reds in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Angels.

"When I was in pregame, I thought for a little bit 'Oh man, I'm not able to play today.' But after that, I decided to take the opportunity to go out there and play," Peraza said via translator Julio Morillo. "Thank God I did. Unfortunately, we didn't win but it was a really good game for me."

Peraza hit three singles and a ninth-inning double to the wall in right-center field as Cincinnati threatened to come back. The first two hits were soft but the other two were liners to the opposite field. He also had a stolen base.

In Monday's 9-2 loss during the third inning, Peraza was nailed by a Matt Shoemaker throw in the ear and jaw area as he dove back to first base on a pickoff play. It hit him on the side where there is no helmet flap. He spent several minutes down on the ground being examined before being removed from the game.

Fortunately, there was no serious injury such as a concussion.

Peraza exits in the 3rd inning

"At the beginning, it was a little scary because I thought it was going to be worse than it was," Peraza said. "It was 'Oh my God,' at the beginning. After that, it was step-by-step and I recovered and came down here to the clubhouse. Everything was right after that."

Since his return from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 19, Peraza has hit safely in eight of 10 games while batting .500 (19-for-38). His four hits tied the career high he just set on Aug. 22 vs. the Dodgers.

Peraza, 22, was sent down on Aug. 2 to get regular at-bats after six weeks of playing sparingly in the big leagues. When he returned, he played more often for the Reds because Zack Cozart was out with an injury.

"He's really staying in the middle of the diamond and staying out over the plate well and fighting the pitches inside off to get to a pitch he can handle," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's been very impressive. He really stays on the barrel a lot. He doesn't get real pull-conscious and or power-conscious, he really lets things evolve and take what he's given. The strike zone command has been improved as well."

In 43 games overall for the Reds, Peraza is batting .325/.351/.405 with two homers and 13 RBIs.

Following the game, Peraza still held a bag of ice on the side of his face. The broken tooth was repaired, but his face and mouth were still aching. There was also one other new development in the wake of Monday's incident.

Peraza started wearing a helmet with flaps over both ears.

"I'm going to use it every day now," Peraza said, in English.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.