Votto ejected after 1st inning of what may be final game with Reds

ST. LOUIS — If Sunday winds up as Joey Votto’s final game with the Cincinnati Reds, it was a short one.

The 40-year-old first baseman was ejected by plate umpire Shane Livensparger after the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Votto was given a brief ovation during his at-bat in the top half, struck out on a foul and returned to the dugout without argument.

Before the top of the second, Votto came onto the field trailed by Bell and had a conversation with Livensparger, who was joined by third base umpire Phil Cuzzi. Votto returned to the dugout and headed to the clubhouse, The ejection was the 15th of Votto’s career.

Tyler Stephenson replaced Votto at first base in the bottom of the second.

Votto is completing a $251.5 million, 12-year contract. The 2010 NL MVP has not said whether he intends to play next season.

Votto hit .202 with 14 homers and 38 RBIs this season. He didn’t make his season debut until June 19 after a 10-month absence that followed an operation to repair his left biceps and rotator cuff.

A six-time All-Star, Votto has a .294 average with 356 homers and 1,144 RBIs in 17 seasons.

The Reds lost the game, 4-3.

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