KANSAS CITY • The Cardinals start the second half of their season with a weekend series in Cincinnati, where a second-place team and familiar friction await them.
Going into the break, Reds manager Dusty Baker revisited old hostilities by suggesting that manager Tony La Russa did not pick two players from the Reds roster for the All-Star Game because they were involved in a brawl with the Cardinals back in 2010.
Baker and La Russa have both stirred the rivalry in the past by bringing up slights (perceived and real) and, at times, making the Reds-Cardinals feud personal.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto, an MVP contender so far this season, suggested that the most recent brouhaha was, at best, "awkward."
"We have to learn to turn the page. I think that's a good quality we should all learn to have in our life," Votto said Tuesday before starting for the NL squad.
"I would like to think that we've all seen the error in our ways here, for lack of a better term, and move on. Let's play ball. If anything happens (this weekend) I'll be surprised."
Both the Reds (47-38) and the defending World Series champion Cardinals (46-40) trail the Pirates (48-37) in the National League Central.
CARDS SIGN LAST PICK
The Cardinals have agreed to terms with sixth-round pick Kurt Heyer, a righthanded pitcher who just won the College World Series and national title with Arizona. Heyer, 21, is expected to finalize the contract Thursday after passing a physical with the team. The club will not officially announce the deal until the completion of the physical.
The Cardinals have spent beyond the $9.1 million budget assigned to them by Major League Baseball for bonuses. Heyer's spot in the draft was given a $165,100 slot for the bonus, and because they are over their limit the Cardinals must pay a tax on Heyer's bonus, $0.75 for every dollar. Heyer is the last of the Cardinals' 14 picks in the first 10 rounds of the draft to sign.