Gonzalez out with pulled hamstring

Published 2:13 am Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SARASOTA, Fla. — Cincinnati Reds shortstop Alex Gonzalez is hurt again.

Gonzalez strained his right hamstring beating out an infield hit in the second inning of a 3-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. He left the game to get treatment.

‘‘When I saw the shortstop dive for the ball, I tried to go for some more,’’ Gonzalez said. ‘‘That’s when it grabbed me.’’

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Gonzalez missed all of last season with a fracture in his left knee. He was cleared to start spring training with the team, but manager Dusty Baker has been careful not to let him do too much. Baker said the hamstring injury didn’t appear to be serious.

‘‘He tweaked it,’’ Baker said. ‘‘There’s no pull. We’ll nurse him through it. We’ll see Wednesday, but I doubt if he’ll play Wednesday.’’

Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez allowed four hits, walked two and struck out five in five innings. The 17-game winner last season has pitched 14 innings this spring without allowing an earned run. He gave up three unearned runs against the Netherlands while pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

‘‘I’m scared now,’’ Volquez said. ‘‘I don’t want to leave all my zeros down here.’’

Ricky Romero, who is competing for the fifth spot in Toronto’s rotation, had a rough time. He gave up two runs, seven hits and two walks in five innings. He also threw a pair of wild pitches.

Romero started badly, surrendering an RBI single to Adam Rosales in the first. Joey Votto also singled in a run in the fifth.

‘‘I always get excited in the first inning,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m getting better. I recognize that I’m not in a straight line to home plate when I’m excited. I’m able to make adjustments now.’’

Chris Dickerson, who is trying to win Cincinnati’s left field job, had two hits, scored two runs and stole a base.

Notes: Joe Inglett was the DH for Toronto. The Reds decided to let their pitchers bat. … After the game, the Reds optioned RHP Ramon Ramirez and INF Danny Richar to Triple-A Louisville, assigned LHP Ron Flores and RHP Jeff Kennard to their minor league camp, and released LHP Aaron Fultz and 1B Daryle Ward. They have 36 players in camp.