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Cincinnati Reds: Short-notice start just fine with Cody Reed

Cody Reed arrived at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday anticipating that he would spend that night’s game in the bullpen while awaiting a start on Saturday in St. Louis.

Instead, he learned that his scheduled start had been moved up to Thursday’s finale to the three-game series and home stand against the Milwaukee Brewers.

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“I threw a (bullpen session) during the game and watched the game from the dugout,” the 6-foot-5, 230-pound left-hander said before Wednesday’s second game of the series. “It’s an opportunity to start in the major leagues. I’m not worried about the short notice.”

Reed has been yearning for another chance all season. He’s hoping to use it to build on his recent success, during which he hasn’t allowed a run over his last four appearances and only three in 9-2/3 innings since being recalled on August 13. That run includes being brought by interim manager Jim Riggleman into a game against the Cubs in Chicago on Friday with one out and the bases loaded and coaxing Anthony Rizzo to ground into an inning-ending double play.

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“Him showing that kind of confidence in me gives me more confidence in myself,” Reed said after a session of bunt practice.

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Inserting Reed, who is 0-1 with a 3.68 earned-run average in 11 games with the Reds this season, allowed Riggleman to solidify his rotation for the finale of the Brewers series and three-game series at St. Louis over the weekend and at Pittsburgh next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Right-handers Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani will pitch in that order against the Cardinals with right-hander Matt Harvey, Reed and Bailey facing the Pirates.

Less depth: Moving Reed’s start to Thursday left Wandy Peralta as the only left-hander in the Reds bullpen after Amir Garrett was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a bone bruise on his left foot. Right-hander Jackson Stephens was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to fill Garrett’s roster and bullpen slot.

Garrett, 26, believes he suffered the injury while pitching against the Cubs in Chicago on Saturday.

“It just happened,” the 6-foot-5, 228-pound Garrett said. “I think it stems from what happened earlier in the year. I just reaggravated it. I threw a pitch in Chicago and landed wrong and twisted it. It got to the point where I said, ‘I can’t keep doing this.’ I had to let people know. I can’t help the team trying to pitch with this.”

Garrett’s lower left leg has caused him problems all season. He was hit on June 26 in Atlanta by a comebacker off the bat of Ender Inciarte. He also slightly injured his left Achilles tendon after falling while covering first base against the Phillies on July 27.

“His Achilles heel area was really acting up the other night,” Riggleman said. “He talked to the trainers and the doctor gave him a shot. Hopefully, that will speed up the healing process.”

After posting a 1.93 ERA in his first 27 appearances, Garrett had turned in a 7.20 figure over his last 31 appearances.

“We’ll do some rehab and see how it goes,” he said.

Welcome back: Stephens returned after going on the disabled list on July 24 with a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee.

The 24-year-old right-hander turned in 10-1/3 innings of relief in seven appearances during a medical rehab term with Louisville. He allowed 13 hits and 10 earned runs with three walks and six strikeouts.

The 6-2, 220-pound Stephens, Cincinnati’s 18th-round pick in the June 2012 draft, is 2-2 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 appearances over three previous stints with the Reds.

Bleak outlook: Tuesday’s opener of the three-game series and homestand drew a crowd of 13,242 to Great American Ball Park, dropping the Reds average home attendance through 67 dates to 20,593. If they maintain that average over the remaining 14 home dates, they will finish at 1,668,031.

That would be the lowest since they drew 1,275,887 in 1984, the year they opened the season with Vern Rapp as manager and ended with Pete Rose as player-manager while going 70-92 and finishing fifth in the six-team National League West Division.

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