Reds left fielder Derrick Robinson seized his first chance to hit second in the order, collecting the first two doubles of his career in Saturday night’s 4-2 win over the Cardinals.
Manager Dusty Baker gave the rookie another opportunity Sunday night in the final game of the three-game series.
“It makes me feel better about myself and feel that he does trust me with that role a little bit,” Robinson said. “Every chance I get to go out there and perform and help the team win, I’m going to do that, or at least try my hardest to do that.”
Baker said he wanted Robinson in the lineup because starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo gives up a lot of outfield flyballs, and he needed his best defense on the field. The speedy Robinson is an upgrade over Xavier Paul and Donald Lutz, who have shared time with Robinson in left.
Robinson’s offense also factored into the decision. He was hitting .421 (8-for-19) in his last nine games. On the season, he’s hitting .340 (18-for-53) with a .426 on-base percentage.
Baker said Cardinals starter Lance Lynn “doesn’t give up much, so we might have to manufacture some runs. When we get to Chicago in the smaller ballpark, we’re going to need some power, and I can go back to (Paul). Robinson will play Wednesday against (Travis) Wood. Everybody brings something to the table as far as what we might need that night, in theory.”
Draft recap: The Major League Baseball draft finished Saturday. The Reds took 41 players. Nineteen of them were high-school players. Twenty two are pitchers.
Two players the Reds drafted are from Ohio: Kent State pitcher Eric Dorsch and Madeira High School outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
The Reds have until July 12 to sign drafted players.
Fancy defense: First baseman Joey Votto had the No. 2 play on SportsCenter on Saturday after he fielded a grounder and flipped it behind his back to Mat Latos, who caught it bare-handed as he stepped on first.
“We’ve seen Brandon (Phillips) do it,” catcher Devin Mesoraco said. “Joey likes to copy off Brandon, I guess. Joey works as hard as anybody at defense. Anything he does over there, it’s not a surprise to me. It’s just Joey playing ball.”
Phillips said, “I’ve seen Zack (Cozart) do it before. Frazier did behind the back at first last year when he was playing first base when Joey was out. It’s one of those plays that just happens.”
Milestones: Going into Sunday’s game, Baker needed one win to tie Yankees legend Ralph Houk for 16th in baseball history with 1,619 wins as a manager.
Phillips needed one home run to tie Joe Morgan and Pete Rose for 13th place in Reds history. Morgan and Rose each hit 152 with the Reds.
Looking ahead: The Reds are in the midst of playing 17 games in 17 days. The first 14 are against National League Central teams.
They begin a four-game series at the Cubs tonight and return home Friday for three games against the Brewers and then four at home against the Pirates. A road trip to the west coast with games against Arizona, Oakland and Seattle closes the month.
Through Saturday, the Reds (37-25) were two wins ahead of last year’s pace.