Monday’s downpour benefits Reds staff

Water cascaded down the dugout steps. It covered all but a few square feet of the outfield. It leaked through the ceiling of the press box.

In the dugout, as the teams waited out a rain delay, only one player could be seen, and that was Reds pitcher Mat Latos, who made a half-hearted effort to bail out the flooded dugout with a plastic cup.

That was the scene Monday night at Great American Ball Park. A downpour lasted about 90 minutes and finally forced the umpires to call the game, a decision that gave the Reds an 8-1 victory over the Giants.

About 17 hours later, Reds manager Dusty Baker marveled that the Reds ground crew was able to get the field in shape for the second game of the four-game series Tuesday night.

“They did a miraculous job,” Baker said. “We’ve got some of the best ground crewmen you’ve ever seen. It looked like we were going to need Noah’s ark by the time that game ended.”

The rain gave the Reds bullpen a break because Bronson Arroyo pitched all six innings.

“I’ll take it,” Arroyo said. “It might be the only (complete game) I get all year. Hey, in 20 years, on the back of the baseball card, they’ll have no idea.”

The Giants might have caught a bigger break. Their starter, Mike Kickham, left with two outs in the third, and they used three relievers over the final 3 1/3 innings. They would have had to use more if not for the rain.

“I would have liked to have gotten deeper in their bullpen in the first game of a four-game series,” Baker said. “It was good for ours, but I think it was great for theirs.”

Bobblehead day: The first 30,000 fans at tonight’s 7:10 game will get the first Todd Frazier bobblehead.

“I didn’t expect it this soon,” Frazier said, “but I’m gracious. It’s pretty cool. I’ve got a lot of people coming, so it should be fun.”

Choo struggling: Center fielder Shin-Soo Choo’s numbers continue to drop. His batting average was .322 on May 16, .287 on June 1 and .264 through Monday. He hit .224 in June and has gone hitless in seven of his last nine games.

Baker doesn’t think Choo is tired, though he has played in 80 of 83 games. Only Joey Votto (83) and Jay Bruce (82) have appeared in more.

“He’s hit some balls hard,” Baker said. “If you looked tired, you’d be tired in the outfield, too. I’ll probably give him another day off before the (All-Star break). I’ve got a pretty good idea when a guy’s tired. Just because a guy’s not hitting, that doesn’t mean he’s tired. Sometimes when you’re not hitting, tired is a state of mind, too, because when you’re hitting a ton, you’re not tired.”

Bruce starring: Bruce hit 10 home runs and had 21 RBIs in June and started July by going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored Monday. He’s on pace to hit 48 doubles and 35 home runs and finish with 109 RBIs.

Only 17 players in Major League history have recorded at least 50 doubles, 35 home runs and 100 RBIs in a season.

All-star voting: Joey Votto leads National League first baseman by almost 600,000 ballots in All-Star voting, and Brandon Phillips leads the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter by 225,416 votes. Voting continues until 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Choo ranks 10th and Bruce is 14th among outfielders.

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