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Joey Votto gets first day off since September 2016

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Reds first baseman Joey Votto is not in the lineup for Thursday night’s series opener against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Nothing is wrong with Votto; manager Bryan Price just wants to give the veteran a day off, per C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

This marks Votto’s first day off since September 2, 2016. Votto started in all 162 games last season as well as the first 11 games of this season. In total, he started 202 consecutive games. It’s not quite Cal Ripken, Jr.’s streak, but impressive nevertheless.

Votto, 34, is batting .273/.313/.273 with zero extra-base hits and three RBI in 48 plate appearances this season. Perhaps the day off will help Votto’s bat to come around.

Adam Duvall is starting at first base in Votto’s place for the 2-9 Reds on Thursday.

Puig takes swing at Hundley, both ejected as benches clear

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig took a swing at San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley and both players were ejected during a benches-clearing scrap in the seventh inning Tuesday night.

Puig swatted his bat in frustration after fouling off a pitch from Tony Watson, and Hundley said something to the mercurial slugger while still in his crouch. Puig turned around and walked toward Hundley, the catcher stood up, and they stood face to face and argued for a moment before Puig shoved Hundley twice.

That brought players out of the benches and bullpens. Puig and Hundley were momentarily separated, but Puig ducked around teammates, coaches and manager Dave Roberts before reaching back to hit Hundley. He smacked Hundley with an open hand across the front of his catcher’s mask.

The players were then separated again for good. After discussing with both managers, the umpires ejected both Puig and Hundley.

It was the fourth career ejection for Puig, who had also got into a skirmish with Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014.