Pitched ball sidelines LaRue; Mercker put on 15-day DL

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 30, 2003

CLEVELAND - Cincinnati Reds catcher Jason LaRue left Sunday's game against the Cleveland Indians with a bruised left shoulder after he was hit by a pitch from Jason Davis in the seventh inning.

With two outs and a 1-2 count on LaRue, Davis threw a fastball that tailed into LaRue, who tried to back out of the way. The pitch appeared to hit LaRue in the left shoulder blade and he fell to the ground.

Manager Bob Boone and trainer Mark Mann attended to LaRue, who got up and walked to the dugout. He was replaced by pinch-runner Kelly Stinnett, who stayed in the game as the Reds catcher in the bottom of the inning.

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LaRue was listed as day-to-day.

Mercker placed on DL

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds put Kent Mercker on 15-day DL with a sprained back Saturday following their interleague game in Cleveland.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday. The left-hander went 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 36 relief appearances for the Reds before the injury.

Also, the team said Austin Kearns is day-to-day after leaving Saturday's game against the Indians with a bruised left quadriceps from slamming into the outfield wall while making a catch in the seventh. Kearns, who didn't play Sunday, was to be re-evaluated Sunday.

The Reds said they would recall outfielder Stephen Smitherman from Chattanooga before Sunday's game to fill Mercker's roster spot. Smitherman, who will make his first appearance above Class AA, batted .318 with 16 homers, 54 RBIs and six stolen bases in 79 games for the Lookouts.