Votto back with Reds

Reds’ Joey Votto, left, was back in uniform Tuesday. (Associated Press)
Reds’ Joey Votto, left, was back in uniform Tuesday. (Associated Press)

The Cincinnati Reds activated first baseman Joey Votto off the disabled list on Tuesday, but will go easy with the first baseman until his left knee is back to normal.

Votto hasn’t played since July 15 because of damaged cartilage in the knee that required two operations. He had a rehab stint in Class A Dayton and Triple-A Louisville last week.

Votto wasn’t in the lineup for a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. The 2010 N.L. MVP said the knee is getting better, but he’s not ready to play every day.

“I think working me in slowly is the wise move,” Votto said. “It’s not 100 percent yet, but that will come in time.”

Manager Dusty Baker said Votto could start a day game today that concludes the series against Philadelphia. There was no hurry to get Votto back in the lineup — the Reds led the N.L. Central by 8 1/2 games on Tuesday, the biggest lead in the majors.

Cincinnati went 32-16 after Votto went on the disabled list.

Votto was batting .342 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs when he went on the disabled list. The idea is to get him as close to 100 percent as he can be heading into October.

Carpenter throws

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter threw 50 pitches in a three-inning simulated game, taking another step in a bid to bolster the club’s N.L. wild-card chances.

The 37-year-old right-hander underwent surgery in July to relieve nerve compression that resulted in numbness on much of the right side of his body in July, with the hope he could return for spring training. He upped the ante Tuesday, four days after working two innings in Washington.

Clearing the bases

The Washington Nationals have reinstated right-hander Chien-Ming Wang from the 15-day disabled list. Wang, who’s been on the DL since July 1 with a strained right hip, is 2-3 with a 7.61 ERA in seven games with the Nationals. … Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman, who left Sunday’s victory over the Yankees with a sore elbow, had an MRI exam. Manager Buck Showalter said Tillman has no structural damage, just minor inflammation. He could pitch this weekend.

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