When the Reds and Cardinals meet once again on today, in their fifth game versus one another in this young season, Cincinnati will have some added reinforcements.
Primary catcher Devin Mesoraco should be back in the lineup, and reliever Jonathan Broxton could be ready to serve as the Reds' closer. Mesoraco was activated from the disabled list Monday but was not in the starting lineup. Broxton is a good bet for activation on Tuesday.
"It went good. There were no problems. I am 100 percent healthy and ready to go," said Mesoraco, who suffered a strained left oblique during the final week of Spring Training. He had a three-game rehab assignment at Double-A Pensacola.
Broxton got a late start in camp after he had surgery in August to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm.
"Everything is good," Broxton said. "I felt good. I bounced back good."
One familiar sight on Tuesday will be the starting pitching matchup. The Cardinals are scheduled to start Lance Lynn against Homer Bailey, which was the matchup on Thursday, when St. Louis earned a 7-6 victory. Bailey lasted only 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs.
Lynn, who gave up three first-inning runs over his five innings of work, felt that the Reds did a good job fouling off his fastball all game. It reminded him that he is going to have to be better at incorporating his offspeed pitches, which could be a tweak he makes to the game plan this time around.
"They were making sure they weren't going to get beat by my fastball," Lynn said. "When I threw some harder breaking stuff, it actually sped their bat up and helped them out. At times, I'm going to have to realize that's what they're going to do. I need to throw some slower offspeed stuff. I just have to keep improving, get my curveball and changeup where I need to be."
Cardinals: Ring ceremony on tap
The Cardinals raised their 2013 National League champions flag during home opener pregame festivities on Monday. Prior to Tuesday's game, players and coaches who were a part of that run to the World Series last October will be presented with their NL championship rings.
Fans attending the game will want to be in their seats early, as the ring ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. CT. The Cardinals will also give rings to their Hall of Famers, as is tradition. This is the second time in the last three years that the Cardinals have held a ring ceremony during their season-opening homestand.
Reds: Seeking more from core
Three Reds core players -- Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce -- combined to go 0-for-9 in Monday's 5-3 loss. Phillips is batting .259 for the season, while Votto is off to a .240 start and Bruce is at .160.
Manager Bryan Price wasn't overly concerned about their slow start but is hopeful things heat up soon.
"These are the guys that, when the season is over, they're going to have their numbers," Price said. "They will be the performers that we know they are. Right now, almost collectively, we've struggled to do anything with guys in scoring position and have any sustained rallies. That will change, but it's tough to sit through it."
• Along with MLB.TV, Tuesday's game will be televised on FOX Sports 1, marking the first time the Cardinals and Reds will have one of their games broadcast by the new 24-hour sports network.
• Cardinals infielder Mark Ellis (patella tendinitis) resumed hitting on Monday after taking time off to rehab his left knee. Ellis is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, but he's not expected to be ready that early. The Cards have not yet determined when Ellis will start a Minor League rehab assignment.