Kearns mired in 3-for-36 slump

Updated: June 12, 2005, 5:59 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Slumping Reds outfielder Austin Kearns will try to turn around his season in the minor leagues.

Austin Kearns
Right Field
Cincinnati Reds
51 6 25 22 0 .224

Kearns, batting .224, was sent down to Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. The former prized prospect hasn't started since June 5 after losing his spot in right field to Wily Mo Pena.

Cincinnati also placed catcher Jason LaRue on the bereavement list. LaRue returned to his home in Texas to attend the funeral of his grandfather. He won't be eligible to play until Wednesday.

Kearns was in a 3-for-36 slump and has hit just .176 with runners in scoring position this season. He had six homers and 25 RBI in 51 games.

After a promising rookie campaign in 2002 when he hit .315 with a .407 on-base percentage, Kearns has battled an assortment of injuries and played in just 146 games the last two seasons.

He missed 84 games last year during two stints on the disabled list for a broken forearm and an injured thumb that required surgery. When healthy, he hit only .230 with nine homers and 32 RBI. He also missed half of the 2003 season because of a shoulder injury that required surgery.

To replace Kearns and LaRue, Cincinnati purchased the contract of outfielder and former Miami quarterback Kenny Kelly from Louisville and recalled catcher Dane Sardinha.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press