CINCINNATI -- Facing the National League leaders in team strikeouts during Monday's 7-4 Reds loss to the Braves, Alfredo Simon mowed them down. Simon faced six hitters in the sixth and seventh innings and struck out all six.
"It was awesome," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "If you want to strike out somebody, this is the club to do it. He's getting better. He's learning to control his sinker. He's gotten better since we had him. We got him last year off of the scrap heap."
The Reds claimed Simon off of the waiver wire on the eve of Opening Day 2012, and he has become a solid long/middle reliever for the club.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Simon's six consecutive strikeouts are the most by a Reds pitcher since Aaron Harang struck out seven straight during a May 25, 2008, relief appearance at San Diego.
"I felt like every pitch was working last night," Simon said. "My two-seamer and my slider and my breaking ball were really good. I tried to attack the hitter, and when they got a strike, I just tried to strike them out."
Hannahan gets start at third in place of Frazier
CINCINNATI -- For only the fourth time this season, Jack Hannahan was in the starting lineup at third base for the Reds vs. the Braves on Tuesday while Todd Frazier got a break.
Frazier was batting .189 (7-for-37) over his previous 11 games and entered Tuesday hitting .239 overall.
"Not really a day [off for Frazier] as much as I'm giving Hannahan a chance to play," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Hannahan previously started games on April 12, April 21 and April 27 and came in batting .308 (8-for-26) in 20 games overall.
"We've been playing some good baseball and winning. I think any big league player wants to play more, but that's not always the outcome," Hannahan said. "I don't make the lineup card out. I focus on the things I can control, and that's preparing to play every day or preparing to come off the bench for a big pinch-hit or to go play defense. Some things in baseball you can't control."
Hannahan, who was signed to a two-year, $4 million contract as a free agent in December, has leaned on coach Miguel Cairo for advice on handling being a role player and pinch-hitter.
"It's been a big help having Miguel here and Cesar [Izturis], too, as far as getting into a routine," Hannahan said. "It depends on pitch count, but usually in the fifth, I'll come back in and get on the bike, get loose, go in the weight room and run around a little bit. I take some swings in the cage. Then I kind of wait and let the scoreboard dictate what's going to happen. You sit and wait and hope your number is called."
Pitchers get their fielding practice in
CINCINNATI -- Before batting practice on Tuesday afternoon, all Reds pitchers were out for pitchers' fielding practice, or PFP's. It's something the club will generally perform about once a month during the regular season.
The staff went through the routine of drills and covering first base normally seen in Goodyear, Ariz., during Spring Training.
"We do it all the time," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We work on all these things in Spring Training, and then when the season starts, you're more worried about everybody's energy level from extra work. It's about continuing to work but not leaving your energy in practice."