CIN@KC: Chapman struck by liner, leaves on stretcher

CINCINNATI -- The timetable for All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to return to the Reds has been set.

Manager Bryan Price said Sunday that, if all goes well in two Minor League rehabilitation appearances this week, Chapman will be activated for Friday's game against Colorado at Great American Ball Park.

"He'll pitch a couple times for Louisville and then meet us back here when we come off the road," Price said.

The Reds have off days Monday and Thursday sandwiched around a two-game Interleague set at Boston. Chapman is scheduled to start and pitch one inning Tuesday night for Triple-A Louisville against Norfolk, then pitch one inning of relief for the Bats during Wednesday's day game.

Chapman pitched Thursday and Saturday for Class A Dayton, his first game action since March 19. On that day, he was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Salvador Perez. Surgery was required to repair fractures near his nose and left eye. A 3-inch plate and 12 screws were inserted to stabilize the bones around his left eyes, and staples in his scalp were removed April 2.

The 26-year-old left-hander saved 38 games for Cincinnati in both 2012 and 2013, being named to the National League All-Star team both years.

Bruce scratched from lineup with left knee soreness

CIN@ATL: Bruce slaps a run-scoring single to center

CINCINNATI -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce was scratched from Sunday's lineup due to left knee soreness. And it could be worse than just soreness.

Multiple reports Sunday night said Bruce has suffered a partially torn meniscus and will undergo surgery later this week. The estimated recovery time from the procedure is 3-4 weeks.

The Reds haven't confirmed the reports.

Chris Heisey replaced Bruce in right field and batted in the cleanup spot.

The move was announced about two hours prior to Cincinnati's home game against Milwaukee, a contest the Reds won in extra innings, 4-3. Bruce was able to pinch-hit in the seventh, swinging and missing at three pitches from Milwaukee reliever Will Smith.

Bruce is batting .216 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 102 at-bats and was 1-for-4 in Saturday's 6-2 Reds win over the Brewers. His next RBI will be the 500th of his career.

Price won't deter Hamilton from sliding headfirst

CHC@CIN: Hamilton swipes 10th base of the season

CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Bryan Price said on Sunday he will not discourage center fielder Billy Hamilton from sliding headfirst.

Hamilton was out of the starting lineup again Sunday with sprained knuckles, but was available for non-batting duty. He suffered the injury diving for a fly ball.

"Making him more conventional might take some of that speed tool away," Price said of Hamilton, who has 24 stolen bases in 40 big league games. "His game is speed and efficiency in stealing bases. Some great players have been headfirst guys, Pete Rose for one."

The speedy rookie sprained two knuckles on his left hand on the first pitch of Thursday's series opener against Milwaukee. He could still could not grip the bat Sunday, but Price said he could pinch-run, bunt, or be used as a defensive replacement if needed.

Worth noting

Brandon Phillips received his 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award in a ceremony prior to Sunday's game.

• Phillips and Joey Votto have made 810 starts together. In that span, Phillips has been paired with 24 different shortstops.

Johnny Cueto is the first Reds pitcher to throw at least seven innings in his first seven starts of the season since Bucky Walters in 1944. The last Reds pitcher to throw eight or more innings in four consecutive appearances was Jose Rijo (1990). The last Major League pitcher to throw at least seven innings and allow two runs or fewer in each of his first seven starts was Roger Clemens, who went on to win the 1991 American League Cy Young Award.