Reds place Mesoraco on disabled list after setback with hip

No team in baseball is hurting more than the Cincinnati Reds right now. They’re feeling pain in the literal and figurative sense.

The Reds lost their ninth straight game Monday, 5-4 to the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. They also placed catcher Devin Mesoraco on the 15-day disabled list before the game.

That move is retroactive to Thursday, though Mesoraco could be out much longer than 15 days because of the hip impingement that has kept him from playing the field since early April.

“We reinitated some catching stuff in Kansas City one day and in Cleveland,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He had a negative reponse to that. He had some tenderness with it. He was no longer really an option as a designated hitter.

“As a pinch hitter, he can go up there and swing a bat, but it’s not Devin. It’s hard enough to hit when you’re 100 percent let alone when you’re not. We don’t have another series where we can DH until June. He’s not near 100 percent. He wasn’t getting better even though it looked like he was. The catching stuff took him back a ways.”

The Reds reinstated relief pitcher Manny Parra from the disabled list to take Mesoraco’s place. Parra hasn’t pitched since April 23 because of a strained neck.

Lineup change: Eight days from moving Billy Hamilton from leadoff to eighth in the lineup, Price dropped him to ninth Monday. Pitcher Jason Marquis hit eighth.

“This is no science experiment,” Price said. “This is just trying to find a way to create our best offense. It will be something we’ll take a look at to see if it will inspire our offense.”

Hamilton went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Brandon Phillips hit first in the order and was 0-for-5.

Cueto's status: The Reds have not announced their starting pitchers for Friday, Saturday or Sunday when they host the Washington Nationals. The status of Johnny Cueto, who was scratched from his scheduled start in Cleveland on Sunday because of elbow soreness, remains uncertain.

Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek examined Cueto on Monday.

“I don’t think it’s a serious injury,” Price said. “I think we should have a pretty good idea by (today) what all the tests suggest. I think we have a medical staff that feels really good it’s nothing that’s going to put him on the shelf for a long time. Hopefully, he’ll maybe miss one start and be back in there the next time through.”

Looking ahead: Michael Lorenzen (1-1, 3.79 ERA) starts at 7:10 Tuesday night against Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (1-6, 6.51).

In the series finale at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday, Mike Leake (2-3, 4.14) starts for the Reds against Kyle Kendrick (1-6, 6.58).