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Reds get Larkin, Doran back in lineup

The Cincinnati Reds had middle infielders Bill Doran and Barry Larkin in the starting lineup Tuesday for the first time since the opening weeks of the season. The Reds activated Doran and Larkin off the disabled list before their game against the New York Mets. To open roster spots, the Reds placed right-handed pitcher Scott Scudder on the 15-day disabled list and designated rookie first baseman Reggie Jefferson for reassignment to the minor leagues.

The result of the game was not available at press time.

Scudder has torn cartilege in his rib cage and could be out for a month, manager Lou Piniella said Tuesday. Jefferson was hospitalized on Tuesday with pneumonia, and will be sent back to Class AAA Nashville when he's healthy.

The roster moves finally reunited the Reds' opening day lineup. Doran has been on the disabled list since May 13 with a strained lower back, and Larkin has been out with a sore throwing elbow since May 18. Piniella had Doran play second base and hit leadoff Tuesday night. Larkin was back at shortstop, hitting third.

Piniella plans to go easy with Doran, who is recovering from surgery last fall to clean an infected back disk. The second baseman has been doing exercises to strengthen and stretch out his back, giving him more mobility.

"There's a lot of difference," Doran said. "I'm a lot more comfortable in my everyday life now."

Doran had trouble bending over for grounders before he went on the disabled list. Although the exercises have given him more mobility, Doran said it was difficult to limit his activities the last few weeks.

"That gets old, especially during the season," Doran said. "In the off-season it's something you need to do to get ready. But during the season, you miss out on things."

Larkin had to completely rest his right elbow because of an inflamed ulnar nerve. He's tested it the last few days and had no problems.

"I've hit extra, hit with the team, thrown for an hour," he said. "So I've done some work. I've let it go, the best you can simulate throwing hard and off-balance. No problems.

"It'll probably take me a week to get back into the flow."

Jefferson was called up from Nashville the day Larkin went on the disabled list. He started one game and went 1-for-7 overall with a homer.

While Piniella's infield was coming back together, his pitching staff was coming apart Tuesday. The loss of Scudder gives the Reds two pitchers on the disabled list _ left-hander Norm Charlton is sidelined by a sore shoulder.

Scudder came up with a sore back in a four-inning relief appearance May 25 against Los Angeles. He started five days later in Los Angeles and got his only win, allowing one earned run and three hits in 6 innings despite the soreness.

Tests later determined he had torn cartilege in his left side.

"He's going to be out a month, I'd say," Piniella said.

Piniella plans to start Kip Gross next Saturday at Riverfront Stadium against Philadelphia. Gross was called up from Nashville when Charlton was disabled May 26.

Charlton is eligible to be activated next Tuesday, and Piniella said he'll start Wednesday in Montreal. The Reds are likely to call up another pitcher from Nashville. The loss of Scudder leaves them with only nine.

"We'll have to bring up a reliever," Piniella said.

The best candidate at Nashville was Gino Minutelli, who has a 1.56 earned run average. But the reliever went on the disabled list Monday with a strained groin.