Reds Notes: Barnhart hits second in order for first time

The Reds’ Tucker Barnhart rounds third base and scores in the first inning against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
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The Reds’ Tucker Barnhart rounds third base and scores in the first inning against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

The lineup for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday featured a twist: catcher Tucker Barnhart hitting second for the first time in his career in the opener of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

Barnhart had hit sixth or seventh most of the season and as high as fifth once. He took the move up in the order as a compliment.

“Hitting second, you have to have the trust of the manager and the coaching staff that you’ll put a good at-bat together,” Barnhart said. “If you’re asked to move a runner, they can trust you to put the bat on the ball and put the ball in play. I take pride in that stuff. I’ve always been that kind of player.”

Barnhart singled in his first at-bat and scored on a double by cleanup hitter Scooter Gennett. Seven different Reds have hit second since interim manager Jim Riggleman took over the team in the 19th game.

“That’s definitely something I’m excited about,” Barnhart said. “Sometimes when you hit eighth in front of the pitcher, you have to battle at times because you’re not sure if they’re actually going to pitch to you.”

Bullpen help: Relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen, who has spent the entire season on the disabled list, was expected to rejoin the Reds on Wednesday after making three rehab appearances with Double-A Pensacola.

“It feels good to almost be back,” Lorenzen said Tuesday. “I think all parties are happy. I think the training staff is sick of me arguing with them and debating with them when I should be back. I’m excited to finally be here and see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

A right shoulder strain sidelined Lorenzen in spring training. He allowed one hit and no runs in four innings with Pensacola. His two-inning outing Sunday was the last hurdle before his return.

“I feel great with one day off,” Lorenzen said. “I feel good to go (Tuesday).”

Lorenzen said he wanted to pitch three weeks ago. He has felt great for a while now.

“I want to be out there seeing the guys play,” Lorenzen said. “ It’s tough to watch. With (Jared) Hughes and the leadership in the bullpen, they were able to do a real good job without me.”

Injury update: Lorenzen crossed paths with another rehabbing pitcher in Pensacola: Anthony DeSclafani, who has made two starts in Double-A.

“I’m wondering, ‘What are you still doing here? You look really good,’” Lorenzen said. “We both are ready to go. That’s exciting to see for him. In talking to him, he feels really good. His (velocity’s) up. Everything’s really good.”

Career milestone: Joey Votto received an intentional walk Tuesday for the 135th time in his career, tying him with Johnny Bench for the Reds record. Bench reached the mark in 8,674 plate appearances. Votto needed 6,346.

First at-bat: Brandon Dixon made his big-league debut for the Reds on Tuesday, popping out in a pinch-hit appearance on the same day he was promoted from Triple-A Louisville. He was the fifth Red to debut this season.