CIN@NYM: Hamilton injured trying to steal second base

NEW YORK -- Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton was scratched from the starting lineup vs. the Mets on Saturday because of a jammed left middle finger. Roger Bernadina replaced Hamilton and batted leadoff.

Hamilton was given a night out of the lineup in Friday's 4-3 loss to New York but pinch-ran in the top of the eighth. He was thrown out trying to steal second base and injured himself on the head-first slide into the bag.

"It's day to day," Hamilton said Saturday while wearing a wrap around his sore finger. "I want to play. I did everything I could today. I took some swings. It's getting better. It will be all right soon."

Hamilton cemented his spot as the leadoff man with a strong Spring Training, but he struggled in his first three regular-season games. He is 0-for-12 with six strikeouts and one walk.

When Hamilton was thrown out by Mets catcher Anthony Recker on Friday, it was only the second time in 15 big league attempts that Hamilton was caught stealing.

Seeking consistency, Bruce finds power early

CIN@NYM: Bruce connects on two-out two-run homer

NEW YORK -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce entered Saturday's game after he went 4-for-9 over the games on Thursday vs. the Cardinals and Friday against the Mets. Those games also included his first two home runs of the season.

Bruce hit a two-run homer to right field off of Lance Lynn on Thursday in a 7-6 loss. During Friday's 4-3 loss, he took a pitch from Mets lefty John Lannan deep over the fence in right-center field for another two-run homer.

Last season, Bruce didn't hit his first home run until April 22, the 20th game of 2013. His second homer didn't come until game No. 35 on May 8.

"I don't honestly take a lot of time to think about it. Home runs come as they come," Bruce said. "It's about trying to take a consistent approach and give myself the best chance. I know it sounds cliché, but it's the truth.

"Last year, I couldn't explain why I didn't have any home runs until May. Lately, I've put some good swings on some good pitches, and it's worked out for me."

Bruce, who turned 27 on Thursday, finished the '13 season with 30 homers and a career-high 109 RBIs. He had a steady Spring Training and felt like he entered this season feeling good.

"I think, year by year, it's been a building process," Bruce said. "I believe that I'm better and that I will continue to get better. I don't think it has anything to do with the two home runs this year, but it's a consistent approach and a mindset and executing better. I'm confident I will do that."

Aroldis resuming light workout sessions

Chapman feels better than expected following surgery

NEW YORK -- Reds closer Aroldis Chapman posted a picture on his Instagram account from Cincinnati on Friday. What made this photo more noteworthy was that he appeared surrounded by gym equipment and weights.

Chapman, who was struck in the face by a line drive on March 19 and suffered fractures above his left eye and nose, has resumed working out.

"He is re-initiating some light workouts," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Saturday morning. "No throwing or any real baseball-related activities to this point. He is starting to move around a little bit more. It's great."

Broxton, Mesoraco nearing returns to Reds

Outlook: Mesoraco ready to take over as No. 1 catcher

NEW YORK -- Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton made a rehab assignment start for Double-A Pensacola on Friday night, and it went well. Broxton pitched a scoreless first inning with two strikeouts and one hit batter while throwing 19 pitches.

Broxton, who is working his way back from August right forearm surgery, is scheduled to start and throw one inning for Pensacola on Saturday.

"Good velocity. It sounded like he had a real good slider," Reds manager Bryan Price said of the game report on Broxton. "He was around the plate with his stuff. Not only is he going back to back, he's going back-to-back starts. How many guys other than Wilbur Wood do that?"

Broxton could return from the disabled list during the Reds' next series at St. Louis.

Catching in the game was Devin Mesoraco, who is on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. Mesoraco went 0-for-3 in his second start for the Blue Wahoos. He could be activated as soon as Monday.

"There is a chance he could be," Price said.