The Cincinnati Reds need someone to step up in Joey Votto's absence, but so far it hasn't happened.
The Reds close a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, trying to salvage a split and stay at least tied for first place in the NL Central.
Playing its first series without Votto, who underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee Tuesday and is expected to miss three to four weeks, Cincinnati (51-40) has lost two of three against Arizona, including a 7-1 defeat Wednesday.
The Reds have totaled eight runs while hitting .229 during the series. They failed attempts at two sacrifice bunts in the early innings Wednesday.
"Those are the things you have to do if you're going to play winning baseball," manager Dusty Baker told the Reds' official website.
With Votto out, Cincinnati is looking for production from other sources such as Jay Bruce, but his average over the last 11 games fell to .119 after he went 0 for 4 on Wednesday.
The loss dropped Cincinna...