Reds-White Sox postponed by rain
CHICAGO (AP) Reds first baseman Joey Votto will have to wait another day to serve his first major league suspension.
Votto was hit with a one-game ban and an undisclosed fine by Major League Baseball on Friday for making contact with an umpire during Wednesday night's 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh. But Cincinnati's series opener at the Chicago White Sox was rained out.
''There's no really bad or really good guys here,'' Votto said before the game was postponed. ''And I'm not one or the other, so I just felt a responsibility to younger players in the league, minor leagues, high school, college, youth leagues. Felt the responsibility to stand up for my actions.''
Votto's trouble began when he struck out to end the third inning against the Pirates. He flung his bat and helmet to the ground. He then said something as he walked to his position and was ejected.
Votto charged umpire Chris Conroy and the two bumped chests before Reds manager Bryan Price intervened. The 2010 NL MVP said he felt the punishment was fair.
''I think initially it could have been more,'' Price said. ''They were able to get it to a single game but it would need to be served immediately, so it seemed to make sense rather than risk it. We knew, I think, inevitably there was going to be some penalty beyond just a financial penalty, that he had contact with an umpire and I think that inevitably he was going to have to serve some time.''
Votto is off to a nice start, batting .311 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 28 games. He played in just 62 games last year because of strained muscles above his left knee.
''I want to be back as soon as possible to help the team, and missing multiple games . the fewer the games, the better,'' he said. ''But I do feel like I have to pay a price for my actions.''
A beautiful, sunny Friday in Chicago gave way to clouds and then finally showers. With more storms in the forecast, it was called after a 32-minute delay.
The rainout will be made up in a traditional doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 4:10 p.m. EDT. The Reds will send right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jason Marquis to the mound, and the White Sox will give the ball to Hector Noesi and Carlos Rodon.
It will be the first major league start for Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in last year's draft. The left-hander has no record and a 2.84 ERA in three relief appearances.
The White Sox think Rodon will be a key part of their rotation for years to come, but they are keeping a close watch on his innings this year.
''There's no guarantees that he's gonna stay in the rotation even if he has a good game,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''I expect him to have a good game. The way it sits right now he would still be back in the bullpen and getting us some innings there.''
The Reds took two of three at Pittsburgh before traveling to Chicago, improving to 4-3 on their 10-game road trip. The last time they visited the White Sox, they were swept in a three-game set in June 2001.
The White Sox won two of three against Detroit in their previous series. They are 8-4 at home this year.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart was in the lineup after missing three games with left wrist and right hand injuries. ''When I swing I don't feel any pain in my wrist or anything,'' he said. ''It's all just a mental thing now just letting it go instead of worrying about this might hurt, that might hurt.'' ... C Devin Mesoraco (sore left hip) also was in the lineup at designated hitter. He has been limited to pinch-hitting duties. ... RHPs Homer Bailey and Matt Magill had Tommy John surgery on Friday. ''I think both of them were considered significant tears,'' Price said.
White Sox: 3B Conor Gillaspie (feet) was out of the lineup for the second straight day, but Ventura said he should be fine on Saturday.
Cueto (2-3, 2.72 ERA) is looking to bounce back from a poor outing in a 5-0 loss at Atlanta on Sunday. Marquis (3-1, 5.22 ERA) is 3-0 with a 4.66 ERA in his last three starts.
Noesi (0-3, 6.75 ERA) is 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA in his last eight starts dating to last year. Rodon (0-0, 2.84 ERA) last pitched last Saturday, throwing three scoreless innings in a 5-3 loss at Minnesota.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap