Left-hander Bill Bray went from the disabled list to the frying pan Friday night.
Bray, in his first day back with the Reds, entered the game against the Minnesota Twins with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning, with Cincinnati ahead 4-3. He walked Denard Span to force in the tying run and gave up a sacrifice fly to Ben Revere for what would be the winning run in the Reds' 5-4 loss.
Reds manager Dusty Baker defended his decision to use Bray. Both Span and Revere are left-handed hitters.
"That's part of his job," Baker said. "I wanted to get him in a less-pressurized situation. I didn't want to use (Sean) Marshall that early."
Bray had been out since April 19, first with a groin problem, then with a back ailment. He was sidelined much longer than expected.
"I tried to push through it," he said. "It messed up everything else. My back started hurting. My arm started hurting. It took awhile to figure out what was wrong. We made some minor changes in my mechanics, and everything started feeling better.
"Sadly, it just took so long to get the kinks ironed out."
If Bray can get back to form, he should be a help.
He was 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA last year. Left-handers only hit .180 off him. Through Friday, he has made six appearances for Cincinnati this year, and he's allowed four runs in three innings.