Friday, April 30, 2004

Reds lose LaRue to fracture

Though not hit by a pitch, catcher headed to 15-day DL

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Reds lost their second starting position player in four days Thursday when tests revealed Jason LaRue has a fracture near the tip of his right index finger.

LaRue was hit by a pitch - although it wasn't ruled that way - in Wednesday's game in Milwaukee. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

He joins Austin Kearns on the DL. Kearns suffered a fractured left forearm when he was hit by a pitch in Pittsburgh on Monday.

The Reds are expected to recall Corky Miller from Triple-A Louisville in time for tonight's series opener in Houston.

Miller was optioned to Louisville Monday to make room for Brandon Larson on the roster.

"We can't officially make the move until we secure permission from Major League Baseball," Reds manager Dan O'Brien said, "because Corky has been down there less than 10 days."

But MLB ordinarily grants permission in the case of an injury.

LaRue returned to Cincinnati for an MRI and X-rays, which revealed the small fracture.

LaRue was fitted with a splint. Medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek will re-examine LaRue in a week.

The injury is not expected to keep LaRue out beyond the 15 days.

"You can't assume anything," O'Brien said. "But we're optimistic that he'll be ready and raring to go. But you don't know until he gets that cast off (in a week)."

BAD COMPANY: A collapse like the Reds had Wednesday night when they blew a nine-run lead and lost 10-9 is pretty rare.

The last team to lose a game in which it led by nine or more runs was Seattle on Aug. 5, 2001, at Cleveland. The Mariners blew a 12-run lead and lost 15-14 in 11 innings.

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