Mike Moustakas returns to lineup as Reds split twin bill with Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Cincinnati Reds put outfielder Nick Senzel on the injured list and reinstated third baseman Mike Moustakas to face his former team before a doubleheader Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals.

Moustakas started the first game as the designated hitter, going 1-for-3 in a 4-0 Cincinnati loss. He moved to second base in Game 2, finishing 0-for-1 with a pair of walks as the Reds rebounded for a 5-0 win.

The Reds also chose infielder Robel Garcia as their 29th man for the doubleheader, which was caused by a postponement of the series opener Tuesday night. The Reds had two games postponed over the weekend because of a positive COVID-19 test, and Major League Baseball wanted to provide them with an additional day for testing.

"There will be increased testing for a small group of players that was determined to have had closer contact than the rest of us," Reds president Dick Williams said. "They did contact tracing, watched video, and they determined in their judgment that a small group of players would need some extra testing and possibly keep them off team flights a bit longer."

Williams added that those players -- three in all -- have been cleared to participate in games, but they will have to make special arrangements when the Reds depart Kansas City for the start of a four-game series Thursday in St. Louis.

The Cardinals have been among the hardest-hit teams during the coronavirus pandemic.

The reason for Senzel's injury designation was not provided, though he missed time earlier this season after reporting symptoms of COVID-19. He was hitting .244 with two homers, five doubles and two steals in 14 games.

"It's been, you know, almost a little uneasy, just because of the uncertainty of everything that's been happening," Moustakas said before Wednesday's twin bill. "With baseball, with the games, with scheduling, with the flights, with everything. Mainly we were all concerned about our health and safety and the health and safety of those around us. If we get that right, everything will fall into place. But our main priority is and always will be to keep everybody safe."

Moustakas had been out since Aug. 4 because of an injured left quadriceps, which also forced him to miss playing the team on which he won a World Series ring and played in another when the Royals visited Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park.

"It's definitely cool to be back at the K. Definitely different to be on the other side of the dugout," Moustakas said. "I spent a lot of time here, a lot of great year. Had a lot of fun, a lot of great memories. Definitely be interesting once the game starts going, but after that, it's baseball. And we all have a job to do, and figure out a way to beat those guys."

In other roster moves, the Reds assigned infielder Alex Blandino, outfielder Mark Payton and catcher Tyler Stephenson to the taxi squad. They also assigned another ex-Royals infielder, Christian Colon, to the taxi squad.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.