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Reds option reliever Partch to minors, call up infielder Soto

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CINCINNATI - The Reds promoted infielder Neftali Soto before the second game of their series on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, shoring up their depleted infield and bench.

They're also keeping a close watch on two injured starters.

The Reds have put three infielders on the disabled list in the past week. First baseman Joey Votto is out indefinitely with a strained muscle above his left knee. Second baseman Brandon Phillips had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and will miss six weeks. Skip Schumaker is out for a week with a concussion.

Manager Bryan Price said on Saturday that the team is still expecting Votto to be out for a significant time. He was on the DL once already with the injury, which won't heal completely until after the season.

"With Brandon and Joey, we're talking more about weeks than we are about days," Price said.

Schumaker ran into the wall while trying to make a catch on Thursday. He's on the seven-day disabled list and could return after the All-Star break. Schumaker showed some improvement on Saturday.

"We're hoping Skip is good to get through the All-Star break and will come out of that OK," Price said. "That's one of those things you've got to be cautious with. Concussion symptoms can be very short or very long and tedious."

The Reds are keeping track of two of their injured starters.

Homer Bailey slightly injured his right knee while throwing a pitch on Thursday and left in the fifth inning. Mat Latos got back spasms and left after five innings of a 6-5 win over the Pirates on Friday.

Both are expected back after the All-Star break, although Price might adjust his rotation to give them a little extra time to heal.

"The other good thing, of course, is we've got two more games remaining (in the series), then a four-day break so we can slot those guys one-through-five coming out of the break based on how they're feeling," Price said. "So we know there's a good chance they could be slid back, both of those guys, if we need."

It's Soto's second stint with the Reds this season. He went 3 for 28 with no homers and one RBI. His addition gave the Reds four position players available on the bench for Saturday's game.

Reliever Curtis Partch was optioned back to Triple-A Louisville. He got his first major league win on Friday night.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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