CIN@OAK: Robinson collects four hits vs. Athletics

OAKLAND -- Reds outfielder Chris Heisey may be back on the active roster after almost two months on the disabled list. But through two games, Heisey has yet to crack the lineup in left field. He was the designated hitter on Tuesday vs. the A's and did not start on Wednesday.

Derrick Robinson, who had four hits Tuesday, started in left field in the series' conclusion, while Xavier Paul was the DH. With Heisey now in the mix, manager Dusty Baker has not determined a system for giving playing time in left field.

"I'll decide as I go. I'll decide on how guys look," Baker said. "I explained to Heisey that unless you're Joey Votto, Jay Bruce or Brandon [Phillips], it's hard to move right back where you left off -- especially if you weren't doing exceptionally well in the first place."

Heisey, who entered the day batting .179 in 24 games this season, was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in his return. He had been out since April 29 with a strained right hamstring. Robinson and Paul have been mostly solid in his place.

"I told all of them in Spring Training that if you get hurt, somebody else can step in and take some of your playing time," Baker said. "You've got to earn it back."

Broxton throws, but needs more time before return

LAA@CIN: Broxton fans two in perfect inning of relief

OAKLAND -- When Jonathan Broxton first went on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow injury on June 15, the hope was he'd be back when eligible on Saturday.

Don't expect that to happen, however.

"Very unlikely," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said on Wednesday.

Broxton, who had a flexor mass strain in his right elbow, doesn't have a timetable for a return as of yet. He just started throwing lightly on Tuesday after being shut down.

"It needed some time to settle down," Price said. "It was his first time playing catch yesterday. It went fine."

In 29 appearances this season, Broxton is 2-2 with a 4.33 ERA. His throwing program will begin in earnest on Friday.

"He's not pain-free yet," head trainer Paul Lessard said. "We've been doing strengthening for the last five or six days. The range of motion is back, and his strength has gotten a lot better."

Marshall encouraged by strides in recovery

CIN@WSH: Marshall makes a nice play on the comebacker

OAKLAND -- Reds left-handed reliever Sean Marshall has made advancements with his throwing program. Marshall is pleased with his progress after having pitched from flat ground for the first time on Tuesday.

"I jammed it out yesterday, 35 pitches," Marshall said on Wednesday. "It felt good. Usually when I take a day off, I get a little bit out of sync, but yesterday was good, and today should be great."

Marshall, who went on the disabled list for the second time this season on May 24 with a left shoulder injury, long tossed in the outfield on Wednesday.

"Probably Texas, I will get on the mound," Marshall said. "I might throw a light bullpen this weekend."

Worth noting

Even with a 12:37 p.m. PT game Wednesday coming after Tuesday's night game, the Reds took an abbreviated batting practice session before the game. Baker considered it important because of the challenges of playing at O.co Coliseum.

"Usually we don't hit much night after day," Baker said. "But you've got to hit here because the ball plays differently. The ballpark plays smaller here. You've got a terrible sun field in left early, and it stays in right field the rest of the afternoon.

"This park plays as different, day and night, as anywhere."