GOODYEAR, Arizona - The Reds played the Indians for the second straight day in the Goodyear Ballpark that they share and Cincinnati came out on top 8-6 for their first win of the spring.
Dusty Baker gave several vets the day off (game action) and stacked his lineup with a lot of 2012 roll players and rookies that could be the stars of the future. But it was the vets he did play that made a difference in the game.
Miguel Cairo hit a bloop single in the first to put the Reds out front 2-0 and the next batter Wilson Valdez hustled out an infield single bringing in another runner for a 3-0 start. What a great example to all these young players in camp. Ryan Hanigan struck out and Willie Harris smoked a Ubaldo Jiminez pitch to right scoring two more and the Reds were up 5-0 in the first.
Cairo finished 2-3 with three RBI's and a run scored. Harris finished 1-3 with two RBI's and Valdez went 2-2 with a stolen base, RBI, and run scored. Not a bad day for veteran roll players.
Homer Bailey started going two laborious innings giving up four hits and three earned runs with two strikeouts. He struck out the first batter of the game and then walked Christian Guzman before giving up two straight hits including a three run bomb from Shelley Duncan. It was a struggle but it was the first start of the spring for Homer so don't look too much into it.
What does concern me, in only his first appearance this spring, is Aroldis Chapman. His 25 pitch third inning was shaky and somewhat scary at times. He gave up a hit and a walk to the first two he faced before striking out Duncan. Then he really didn't give catcher Ryan Hanigan a chance when the Indians pulled a double steal. Aaron Cunningham then grounded out scoring a runner and Chapman struck out Matt LaPorta.
The fourth inning was much better with his third strikeout and he picked off a runner and left the game only giving up one earned run. This is Chapman's third season and they have said all off season that he will start, but where? Probably at Louisville with the Bats.
Sean Marshall pitched the fifth and hit the first batter he faced before giving up two earned runs on two hits with a walk. Denis Phipps made an incredible diving catch to bail him out. Carlos Fisher and Sean Gallagher pitched the final three innings with no runs.
Opening Day starter Johnny Cueto goes for the Reds Monday (March 5) and expect to see Phillips, Janish, Votto, Rolen, Bruce, Ludwick, Stubbs, Mesoraco, and Hanigan in that order.
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