PITTSBURGH -- Going into Monday's game against the Pirates, Reds first baseman Joey Votto had missed just two pitches in 23 plate appearances, and struck out twice. Last season, the four-time All-Star and 2010 MVP struck out 120 times.
The disconnect, however, is that Votto, a career .312 hitter, was batting .227 going into Monday's game against the Pirates. But six games is a small sample, as Reds manager Bryan Price noted.
"Like a lot of guys in the league, he's kind of finding his way and getting comfortable at the plate," he said.
In Monday's 7-1 win over the Pirates, Votto went 0-for-4 and struck out swinging in the second inning.
Regarding Votto's consistent contact, Price said, "He's been more aggressive early in the count. He's been swinging at more pitches. First pitch. I think he just wants to hit a good pitch."
Votto, meanwhile, had little to say on the subject.
"We'll see how this plays out," he said.
Shortstop Zack Cozart, the Reds' top hitter during the first week (.450), was a late scratch from the lineup with a sore wrist. The club provided no further details.
Jose Peraza moved from second base to replace Cozart in the field, and Scooter Gennett took Peraza's place at second. Gennett hit a homer in the eighth inning.
Cozart was 9-for-20 with four RBIs in the first six games.