Reds hoping to avoid DL for Joey Votto

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Reds are still hoping they won't have to put Joey Votto on the disabled list.

The 2010 NL MVP missed his third straight game Sunday because of a left knee injury. Manager Bryan Price said after the 8-3 loss to the Phillies that ''we don't want to DL him and find out in two or three days he's ready to play.''

The Reds open a three-game series at the Nationals on Monday, and Price couldn't say whether Votto even would be in Washington, let alone play.

The manager says: ''As long as we're somewhat comfortable having a four-man bench, we won't have to make a decision'' on the DL.

Votto missed the weekend series against the Phillies to remain in Cincinnati for treatment after an MRI on Thursday revealed a strain in his knee.