CINCINNATI -- Mike Shroder and Patty Stump know how rare their stories are. That's why they take advantage of any opportunity to talk about their battles with breast cancer.
"We want to get the message out there," Stump said.
Shroder and Stump, of Mason, Ohio, a married couple who are both breast cancer survivors, were named Reds Honorary Bat Girls for Sunday's Mother's Day game against Colorado.
"We prefer, 'Bat Couple,'" Stump said with a chuckle.
Shroder received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2006. About a year later, Stump also battled breast cancer. After four cancer-free years, she received a cancer diagnosis once again in 2011. Treatment plans were successful for both, and both have recovered to the degree that they are able to work as volunteers and fundraisers for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
"Our daughter signed us up for the Komen Walk the first year after my first diagnosis," Stump said. "Since then, we've done everything we can to help. We know that early detection plays such a big part, and we want others to be aware of that."
Only about 1 percent of all breast cancer cases in the U.S. occur in men, according to the Komen Foundation. According to the American Cancer Society, about 430 men will die from breast cancer in 2014.
"The [men] I know take it pretty seriously," Shroder said.
Both are big Reds fans. Shroder said he was a former season-ticket holder. The television sets at West Shore Pizza, their business in Mason, are always tuned to the Reds when the games are on, they said.
Shroder and Stump were nominated by 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Josie Shuler for the program Major League Baseball has sponsored since 2009.
"Word spread among our family and friends and via social media," Stump said. "We were really happy people voted for us. Being here [Great American Ball Park] is very exciting."
Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative sponsored by charitable partners Stand Up to Cancer and the Susan B. Komen Foundation.
Mesoraco may rejoin Reds in Philadelphia
CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Bryan Price said Sunday he was hopeful injured catcher Devin Mesoraco would be able to rejoin the team by the end of the week.
Mesoraco, sidelined since April 26 by a strained left hamstring, simulated running the bases on the indoor track behind the Reds dugout Saturday at Great American Ball Park. Price said Mesoraco's running received "very good reviews" Sunday and that he should be able to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment early this week. Triple-A Louisville is at home Monday, and Class A Dayton is at home Monday through Wednesday.
"He has a chance to make the road trip," Price said, referring to Cincinnati's six-game swing through Philadelphia and Washington that begins Friday.
Mesoraco has hit .468 in 47 at-bats between two stints on the disabled list.
Another injured Reds player, No. 2 starter Mat Latos, threw a bullpen session prior to Sunday's game against Colorado. Latos has been dealing with the setback of a flexor mass strain in his right forearm and has yet to pitch this season.
Hamilton makes presence felt in return vs. Rox
CINCINNATI -- Billy Hamilton was back in the starting lineup Sunday, the first time Cincinnati's center fielder had occupied his spot atop the Reds' batting order in more than a week.
Hamilton sprained two knuckles on his left hand diving for a ball in the outfield during the first inning of a May 1 game against Milwaukee.
"He has been able to take batting practice only during the last two days," Reds manager Bryan Price said before the Reds' 4-1 victory against the Rockies. "They were really his first regular swings since the injury."
The speedy rookie appeared healthy enough Sunday, stealing his 12th base in 32 games, belting a triple to the right-center-field gap, and leading off the game with a bunt single on which he advanced to third thanks to a Colorado error.
Though out of the lineup, Hamilton had been used sporadically as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, and he contributed a pinch-hit double Friday night against Colorado.
Reds use pink bats to raise cancer awareness
CINCINNATI -- Three Reds players used pink bats in Sunday's 4-1 victory against the Rockies: center fielder Billy Hamilton, second baseman Brandon Phillips and catcher Tucker Barnhart.
Hamilton was particularly effective with his bat, dropping down a perfect bunt single to lead off the game (and advancing to third on an error), and later driving a triple to the right-center-field gap in the seventh inning.
Pink shoes, wristbands and bats were worn by many players as part of Major League Baseball's Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative.
Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey actually received pink shoes from two shoe companies for the Mother's Day game. Because Bailey could not wear both at the same time, he gave one pair to Hall of Fame sportswriter Hal McCoy and asked McCoy to wear them in the press box Sunday.
• The Reds have not been charged with an error since May 2. Cincinnati came into Sunday's game with the best fielding percentage (.991) and fewest errors (12) of any team in the Major Leagues.
• Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier hit a solo home run Sunday, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
• Saturday's 11-2 loss to Colorado marked the first time a Reds starting pitcher had been charged with more than three earned runs in a game since April 26.
Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.