MILWAUKEE -- Scott Rolen, Ryan Hanigan and Zack Cozart all were on the bench for Wednesday's finale with the Brewers in Milwaukee.
Manager Dusty Baker said he wanted to make sure he rested some of his regulars so they were ready for the stretch run of the season.
"It's kind of like running this race, and if you make your kick too early, you run out of gas," Baker said. "You can put your guys in the ground and they'll never return. So you've got to run a strategic race, which we're trying to do."
Baker said with the playoffs, his team could be playing into late October.
"I know how to run this race," he said. "If you look at my teams that won, look at my record in the last month of the season on winning teams. We've always done very well, partly because of the personnel and partly because of how we program them with energy levels.
"I stress to the guys about eating, living right, drinking water," he said. "When to go out and when to make sure to go to bed. You can just grind, grind, grind and you could go crazy mentally."
Mesoraco to be activated from DL on Thursday
MILWAUKEE -- Devin Mesoraco will come off the disabled list Thursday and catch the first two games of the Reds' series against the Cubs at Wrigley, manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday.
Mesoraco, on the seven-day DL due to a concussion, was eligible to be activated on Wednesday, but Dioner Navarro started behind the plate in the finale with the Brewers. Navarro caught Reds starter Mat Latos in Spring Training, and was 2-for-6 with a home run against Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf entering Wednesday.
"He's had pretty good success against Wolf," Baker said.
Starter Ryan Hanigan will get three days off and catch the final two games of the Cubs series, Baker said.
"He's caught a lot," Baker said. "When he catches too much, he wears down."
Mesoraco is also appealing a three-game suspension he received for making contact with umpire Chad Fairchild on July 30 during a heated argument in the third inning of a game against the Padres.
Mesoraco was involved in a hard collision at home plate an inning earlier. He started the next night's game but left after becoming dizzy, and he was then placed on the DL.
Going into Wednesday's finale against the Brewers, Reds pitchers had not allowed a walk over their last 22 2/3 innings.
Cincinnati pitchers held National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun hitless (0-for-8) in the first two games of the series. Braun entered Wednesday hitless in his last 15 at-bats.
Joe DiGiovanni is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.