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Robinson's speed, bat impress Reds

ATLANTA -- They say there's no defense for speed.

Rookie Derrick Robinson has plenty of it and is eager to keep bringing it when given the opportunity.

"Any time I'm in there I'm just looking to help the team win," said Robinson, who batted second and played left field in Sunday's series finale with Atlanta, coming off his fourth multihit game of the season in Friday night's 4-2 win.

One of those hits Friday came in the three-run first inning, when, with leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo on first, he laid down a perfect bunt in front of home plate and beat catcher Brian McCann's throw to first.

"That was a hit attempt, but I was thinking if I get it down and don't get a hit the worst that can happen is I get Choo over into scoring position," said Robinson, the former fourth-round Draft pick of the Royals in 2006. "I'm sure that's why they have me in the two-hole because right there you just sac the guy, it's a great chance that it could be a hit also, have two guys on for the great hitters behind us."

Robinson has impressed those around him.

"He's a talented player," said Choo, who batted ahead of Robinson on Sunday. "He really doesn't have a lot of home run power but he can run and he can hit and plays great defense. So he helps a lot late in the game. He pinch-runs, pinch-hits. When he gets on base, he's going to get the extra base. He helps a lot."

The 3-4 All-Star punch of first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips also likes what Robinson's quickness brings to the lineup.

"Derrick's played really well," said Votto. "I've been nothing but impressed by him and I really like hitting with him in the lineup. He should be very proud of himself how he's started off his Major League career."

"Robinson is doing a great job when he starts," agreed Phillips. "This is his rookie year. He's learning a lot. He's using his wheels, he keeps the defense on its toes and that's a beautiful thing."

The 25-year-old Gainesville, Fla., native, who chose Major League Baseball over then-University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer and the Gators, entered Sunday eighth among National League rookies in batting (.264), tied for third in triples (2), tied for sixth in stolen bases (2), fifth in walks (15) and sixth in on-base percentage (.345).

He'll look to continue to help the team as his teammates help him continue to learn the game.

"You learn something every day," he said. "It's a game of adjustments. You've just got to make the adjustments. Everyone here that's been around for a while has looked out for me in some type of way. We're looking to come back ready to make a run for the playoffs and take the lead in our division. That's the goal for the second half."

Jon Cooper is a contributor to
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