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Baker proud of Reds' grit, success during tough stretch

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds have had a winning homestand, and have seemingly survived well despite injuries -- all while playing a tough stretch of 20 straight games without a day off. On top of that, they've played extra innings in three of the previous four games -- which has taxed the bullpen.

Reds manager Dusty Baker let his players know how he felt.

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CINCINNATI -- The Reds have had a winning homestand, and have seemingly survived well despite injuries -- all while playing a tough stretch of 20 straight games without a day off. On top of that, they've played extra innings in three of the previous four games -- which has taxed the bullpen.

Reds manager Dusty Baker let his players know how he felt.

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"I'm proud of these guys where we are right now," Baker said on Wednesday morning. "I told them this was one of the toughest stretches before we even started. Let's not lose sight of where we are in this tough stretch. I've never started in April to have 20 in a row. Usually that's for midseason. Nobody's pitching is ready for that. Pitchers coming out of Spring Training usually go six or seven [innings]. Relievers rarely throw back to back in Spring Training."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.

Cincinnati Reds, Xavier Paul