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Gennett hanging onto 4-HR bat for a while

MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- On the day after he became the 17th player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game -- and the first ever for the Reds -- Scooter Gennett was a busy man. Gennett received a lot of congratulatory messages and fielded 11 interview requests, including appearing on national TV and radio shows.

"I had, I want to say, 270 text messages," Gennett said Wednesday. "I'm just glad my phone didn't die. I still don't really know how to get home in Kentucky."

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CINCINNATI -- On the day after he became the 17th player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game -- and the first ever for the Reds -- Scooter Gennett was a busy man. Gennett received a lot of congratulatory messages and fielded 11 interview requests, including appearing on national TV and radio shows.

"I had, I want to say, 270 text messages," Gennett said Wednesday. "I'm just glad my phone didn't die. I still don't really know how to get home in Kentucky."

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Such is life after going 5-for-5 with the historic four homers and 10 RBIs in a 13-1 Reds win over the Cardinals on Tuesday.

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One request Gennett hasn't granted yet was giving up his bat to Cooperstown. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum asked for it, and the museum will get it -- once the utility player is done with it.

"I'm still going to use it," Gennett said. "It's pretty hot right now, so I'm going to keep swinging it. When it breaks, they will get it."

Video: Gennett on the significance of his four-homer game

Gennett, who filled in for right fielder Scott Schebler while he was injured on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, played left field in place of Adam Duvall on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Gennett played second base in place of Jose Peraza.

Normally, manager Bryan Price telegraphs his plans to players well in advance before giving them off-days. It wasn't shocking that Price decided after Tuesday's game to start Gennett again.

"I would have to certainly say, based on his recent performance, I found a way to get him in there," Price said. "Every now and again, I get my share of mail that suggests I should be making decisions other than the ones I'm making. I would think after a four-homer game and not starting him, I would get more of that mail."

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Price recalled making a double switch before the seventh inning and showing his lineup card to home-plate umpire David Rackley.

"I was making some changes and [Rackley] says, 'Who are you taking out, Gennett?' This was after he had three homers," Price said. "It was certainly tongue-in-cheek."

Even after a four-homer game, Gennett found himself moved down on Price's lineup card. He batted fifth on Tuesday but seventh on Wednesday vs. St. Louis.

"It's all about what you're going to do for me today. It's going to take some time for me to earn that right to be in there at the top of the lineup," Gennett said. "It's something that's out of my control, in a sense. I'll go out and play, have fun, and keep moving up. We all want to get better."

Worth noting

• After three outings at extended spring on his comeback from elbow surgery to remove bone chips, pitcher Homer Bailey will start a rehab assignment on Friday with Double-A Pensacola.

• Left-handed starter Brandon Finnegan (left teres major strain) pitched 2 1/3 innings in a scrimmage on Tuesday at extended spring in Goodyear, Ariz.

"I got good reports on how he threw, how he felt," Price said. "Very, very good slider. Threw strikes. He came out of it really well."

The next step for Finnegan is to begin a rehab assignment next week, with a club that is to be determined.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Scooter Gennett