Matt Kemp ran hard into the wall in left field Sunday in San Diego, trying but failing to catch a long fly ball off the bat of Wil Meyers. The impact left Kemp in immediate pain, though he stayed in the game and batted the next inning before leaving.
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That Kemp was able to stay in the game for even a short time left the Cincinnati Reds with hope the injury would not be severe enough to cost him time, but Kemp found out Tuesday he has a broken rib on his left side. He was placed on the 10-day injured list.
“I fought the wall and the wall won,” said Kemp before the opener of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park. “The wall is undefeated. The wall won as it usually does.”
Kemp leaves the lineup with a .200 average in 20 games. He was 7-for-25 on the nine-game road trip the Reds finished Sunday and had hit safely in nine of his last 13 appearances (11-for-40, .275).
“We feel for him,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He did everything he could to make that play. No wonder he had to come out of the game, he was in a lot of pain. He did everything he could to stay in there. It was just a great effort. It’s part of the game, I guess, but it doesn’t make it any easier. He’s a big part of our team. It’s difficult to lose him for any period of time. Hopefully, he’s back out there soon.”
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Bell said Kemp could miss a few weeks but said, “I never like to limit guys. Hearing Matt talk a little bit, I know he’s already thinking how quick he can get back out there.”
The Reds promoted outfielder Phillip Ervin from Triple-A Louisville to take Kemp’s spot on the roster. Ervin hit .224 in 12 games for the Bats.
Ervin appeared in two games for the Reds against the St. Louis Cardinals in Monterrey, Mexico, and was 1-for-2 with a triple. He debuted for the Reds in 2017 and appeared in 78 games last season.
“Phillip has been a part of this team in the past,” Bell said. “I got a great look at him this spring. He had a great spring. He’s been doing well in Triple-A. He’ll certainly get the opportunity to contribute this team.”
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In other Reds injury news, Joey Votto returned to the lineup Tuesday, batting lead-off, after missing two games with back pain. He got a three-day break because the Reds didn’t play Monday after returning from San Diego.
“He’s better,” Bell said. “That was a relief. To keep him out of the lineup was significant, but he made a very quick recovery.”
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