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Cozart likely headed to DL with knee injury

Shortstop hurt as right foot slips off first base while trying to beat out hit

CINCINNATI -- The Reds are bracing themselves to lose shortstop Zack Cozart, who exited Wednesday's series finale against the Phillies in the bottom of first inning with what appeared to be a serious right knee injury.

"He had an MRI, we are waiting for the results and [medical director] Dr. [Tim] Kremchek is in transit," Reds manager Bryan Price said after his club posted a 5-2 victory for its fourth straight win. "I don't know where he is, I don't know if he's out of state or wherever he is, but he'll be here later this evening and he'll review the MRI and let us know. I think it's safe to say [Cozart will] be on the DL, I think that's pretty reasonable, and the extent of the injury is pending."

Cozart was trying to beat out a throw to first when his foot slipped off the bag and he tumbled to the ground. He was down on the ground for a few minutes before the training staff helped carry him off the field. While on the ground, Cozart was holding his right knee in obvious pain.

Cozart is batting .258/.310/.459 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 53 games this season. He hit home runs in the first two games of the three-game series against the Phillies.

"It's heartbreaking is what it is, to see him carried off the field for the reasons that you mentioned. He's having a great season," Price said. "Certainly, we all want to see him continue to have a phenomenal year and be a big part of our team's success. Just a guy who's invested so much in being really good in this year."

Kristopher Negron moved from center field to shortstop to replace Cozart, and Brennan Boesch entered the game in center field.

With Cozart likely heading to the disabled list, he'll join left fielder Marlon Byrd and catcher Devin Mesoraco as everyday starters who are currently out of action. Second baseman Brandon Phillips sustained a mild strained left groin on Tuesday night, and center fielder Billy Hamilton is battling a banged-up left wrist. Both missed Wednesday's series finale.

Price said the Reds will be looking at potential players to call up from Triple-A Louisville. Shortstop Eugenio Suarez was one player mentioned as a possible replacement for Cozart.

Suarez has spent the 2015 season with Louisville, but he played in 85 games for the Tigers last season. He is hitting .256/.348/.438 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 57 games at Louisville.

"He's a guy that, for us, we feel is capable of being an everyday shortstop," Price said. "A guy that you have to match up against a left-handed starter, a guy you have to get out defensively late or a guy that is more of a super utility type player. We see him as an everyday Major League shortstop."

Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for
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