Plenty of Reds stepping up in Votto's absence

Plenty of Reds stepping up in Votto's absence

Plenty of Reds stepping up in Votto's absence
CINCINNATI -- Many Reds fans probably thought the sky was falling when they heard franchise first baseman Joey Votto would miss a month of action following surgery on his left knee.

The weather may have even supported this theory, with downpours plaguing southern Ohio earlier in the week. But the skies have cleared and the Reds have continued to win.

The club is 3-2 since Votto last played on Sunday, and are a season-high 13 games over .500 entering Saturday.

"You're not the same without Joey, but the guys are picking up the slack," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "That's what you've got to do. That's what good teams do. You don't sob, pout, feel sorry for yourself. You pick it up."

The offense has taken a hit without Votto's bat in the lineup, but the club has continued to find ways to win.

Different hitters have stepped up throughout the week. Ryan Ludwick knocked in three runs on Tuesday, Brandon Phillips chalked up five RBIs on Thursday, and three different Reds hit homers Friday night, all contributing to Cincinnati wins.

Twice this week, the Reds' pitching staff has allowed one run or less, making the offense's job much more doable.

"Any time you get pitching like that, it makes it a lot easier for when you do hit a homer and score a run," Baker said. "It makes it much more meaningful. We're not scoring a lot of runs, but we're getting just enough to win."

The Reds have averaged 3.6 runs per game since Sunday, slightly below their 4.2 season average.