CINCINNATI -- In the Reds' first two victories over the Brewers in this series, right fielder Jay Bruce played big parts both times. In Monday's 3-1 win, Bruce's two-run double snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 win, Bruce's three-run home run to right field also broke open a game tied at zero.
"That's the key, especially in that fifth spot. That's the RBI man," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's not the number of opportunities, it's coming through in as many opportunities as you can. That's big."
Bruce, who came into Wednesday's finale with hits in four straight games, had cooled since a strong April and was looking for consistency. But he hasn't been worn down mentally.
"Honestly, I never really felt bad," Bruce said. "In years' past when I felt bad, I felt like I didn't know why I was doing poorly or didn't know what it took to get out of it. I've pretty much felt the same.
"I've been in control of my at-bats for the most part, and I seem to have been able to slow the game down enough at least but just haven't been getting hits. Hopefully it's turning around. I feel good and just continue to try to put myself in a position to be successful."
Reds firmly address Chapman's theatrics
CINCINNATI -- Reds closer Aroldis Chapman's two somersaults in front of the mound following Tuesday night's 4-3 win over the Brewers continued to roll, and roll, on Wednesday as television and Internet outlets played the video repeatedly.
The Reds made their displeasure with Chapman's stunt immediately known and spoke with the left-hander about it. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke acknowledged that a member of the Reds' coaching staff phoned to let him know it was not tolerated. Manager Dusty Baker declined to discuss any conversation between the two sides.
"I think that's between us and the Brewers," Baker said. "You know, Ron Roenicke was my teammate. He knows me. He knows me very well. He knows how I am, and he knows how I do things. At the time, he was a young player and I was one of the leaders on that team. He knows me."
Roenicke did not comment but appeared to shrug off the incident. After all, his team has been criticized in the recent past for its various on-field celebrations that have angered the opposition.
Chapman, who was coming off two straight blown saves and an 0-4 record over his previous seven appearances, was clearly elated by striking out the side to close out the win. Within minutes afterward, he was spoken to by pitching coach Bryan Price, Baker and teammate Jay Bruce. By then, Chapman had gone from celebration to dejection. He declined to speak to reporters and through his interpreter said he was not mentally prepared for it.
On Wednesday, Chapman, Baker and general manager Walt Jocketty met. The club did not make Chapman available for comment, saying that Baker's comments would stand for now.
Earlier in the morning, one media member tried to make light of the situation and found an unpleasant audience in Baker.
"That ain't funny. Ain't no joke to me," Baker said. "It's been addressed already, and it's over. It won't happen again ... ever. I know he was happy and things have been going poorly for him, but you've got to demonstrate it in a different way."
Masset encouraged, but cautious in rehab
CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Nick Masset, who has not pitched all season because of a right shoulder injury, was scheduled for a fifth bullpen session on Wednesday morning. Masset previously threw 40 pitches on Monday.
"It felt good all the way through. The next day, I had a little soreness," Masset said before heading to the bullpen Wednesday. "When you go through something like this, you have the spot that's hurt, but as you come back and start throwing, there are certain things that are going to pop up in your shoulder -- just tightness.
"You're training your arm to throw all over again. I've had some discomfort in certain areas, but that's kind of the process of coming back and kick-starting the shoulder again. Overall, it's doing very good."
Masset is going to make the trip with the team to San Francisco to continue his throwing program. If all stays on track, he could head to the team complex in Arizona to face hitters in simulated games.
"But I don't have a full schedule," Masset said.
Masset hopes to be able to throw in the bullpen every other day until a potential rehab assignment.
"I'm really cranking it up to get into game speed," Masset said. "I'm happy with my progress."