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CIN@SF: Votto exits game in fifth with a leg injury

Joey Votto certainly sent concern through Cincinnati when he hobbled down the first-base line following his infield grounder Saturday.

More worry may have arisen when Reds manager Dusty Baker left Votto out of lineup for just the second time all season Sunday.

Votto exited the game Saturday against the Giants as a precautionary measure in the fifth inning due to inflammation in his left knee.

But Votto, who until Sunday had appeared in all 77 games for Cincinnati this year, downplayed the extent of his injury.

"We'll have to see. I certainly didn't feel good," Votto said. "I don't see why this should linger. There is nothing structural. It's an instance where [Friday] night it happens sliding sometimes. [Saturday] with the short turnaround, it lingered a little bit. I will be fine."

Votto is batting .350 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs this season, while his 33 doubles and .471 on-base percentage lead the Majors.

Votto was replaced both Saturday and Sunday by Miguel Cairo, who is batting .140 this season and has only made two appearances at first base in 2012.

Baker listed Votto as day to day, and Votto said his injury "is progressing." No timeline has been set on his return.

"I will have to talk to Paul [Lessard, the head athletic trainer] and Dusty about it," Votto said. "It's usually their decision and it's my knee's decision, not really mine."

The Reds may not need Votto's bat Monday as they take on a Dodgers squad that has struggled mightily the last two weeks.

The Dodgers finally snapped their seven-game losing streak Sunday with an 8-3 win over the Mets. The eight runs were the most Los Angeles has scored since an 8-2 win against the Mariners on June 10.

Prior to Sunday's win, the Dodgers had dropped 11 of their last 12.

"I don't have a lot of answers," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We're going to keep going, but it's some really tough days right now."

In their 1-11 span, the Dodgers scored three runs or fewer in all but one game. They scored five runs against the Angels on June 22 in an 8-5 loss.

"I wouldn't use the word frustration," said catcher A.J. Ellis said, trying to describe the mood. "I'd probably use more discouragement. It's kind of tough. But we have a lot of positive guys who can see the big picture really well."

Before this stretch began, the Dodgers had built the best record in baseball and sat atop the National League West.

Los Angeles has now narrowly slipped into second place behind San Francisco, with Arizona just 5 1/2 games back.

Reds: All-Star successes and snubs
With the amount of All-Star votes he had amassed, Votto knew he would be in Kansas City for the Midsummer Classic in July.

That doesn't make the honor any less sweet.

Votto received 7,343,110 votes via fan balloting -- nearly 4 million more the Giants' Brandon Belt -- making him the runaway winner at first base. He will make his first start in the 83rd Major League All-Star Game on July 10.

"It means a tremendous amount to me," Votto said. "A player like myself who tends to stay under the radar for the most part, plays in Cincinnati, which is not one of the larger markets, to have garnered so many votes is really a tremendous accomplishment I definitely appreciate."

Votto will be joined by two teammates in outfielder Jay Bruce and closer Aroldis Chapman.

While excitement for Votto, Bruce and Chapman circled the clubhouse, a feeling of disappointment also set in for second baseman Brandon Phillips and pitcher Johnny Cueto, who both missed the cut.

Cueto is 9-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 16 starts this season, striking out 79 and walking just 25. His ERA and 13 quality starts are second only to the Mets' R.A. Dickey, the likely NL starter, in the Senior Circuit.

Phillips, a two-time All-Star, is batting .285 with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs. The three-time Gold Glove winner was second in the fan voting behind Atlanta's Dan Uggla.

"It's kind of difficult to be overly happy today considering the two guys that I thought were shoo-ins aren't going to be on the team," Votto said. "That's frustrating. I knew a long time ago that I was going to be an All-Star. I was really hoping for those two guys and all five of us to go to Kansas City."

• Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who is currently facing a rough 0-for-15 stretch, was a late scratch from Sunday's game in San Francisco.

Rolen was slated to make the start, but began experiencing back spasms during Zach Cozart's leadoff at-bat and was replaced in the bottom of the first by Todd Frazier.

Rolen is batting .184 and has missed 34 games this season with a strained left shoulder. He returned from the disabled list June 18.

Dodgers: Ethier still out of lineup
Outfielder Andre Ethier remained out of the lineup for the fourth straight game due to his strained left oblique.

Ethier was batting .291 with 10 home runs and a team-leading 80 hits and 55 RBIs before being injured June 27.

"Any time you can't go out there and you're one of the guys they look at, you're not fulfilling your role," Ethier said. "Sometimes you don't feel well and you go out and play when a lot of guys are banged up, then all of a sudden this bites you. It's little things that are frustrating."

Ethier said he felt good after taking about 10 swings off the tee Saturday and planned on throwing and hitting more off the tee leading into Monday's matchup.

Mattingly said he was "encouraged" by Ethier's progress, but still listed his right fielder as day to day.

Mattingly also said he might consider going a man short in the bullpen for the Cincinnati series as Ethier recovers.

• Matt Kemp, who was named as the National League Home Run Derby captain, has chosen his fellow participants for the 2012 Derby in Kansas City.

Kemp, who led the NL with 39 home runs last season, has invited the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (20 homers this season), the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez (17) and the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton (19) to represent the NL.

Missing the cut were the Brewers' Ryan Braun (22) and the Reds' Jay Bruce (17).

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