Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oakland doubles-up Cincy 6-3

Saturday's affair with the Oakland A's (6-3) made the Reds (4-4-1) thankful that these games only serve as exhibitions. Dusty Baker's crew fell 6-3 on the road in a game in which both ace Johnny Cueto and the defense struggled a bit. Here is the good, the bad and a few notables from Saturday:

The Good:
-Prospects Donnie Joseph and Kyle Lotzkar combined to toss two innings of scoreless ball. They each walked a batter and struckout a pair.
-Jeff Francis allowed only one run in his three innings pitched. The veteran left-hander is vying for a spot in the Reds' rotation.
-Dennis Phipps continues to make his case to earn a position on the 25-man. He is now batting .429 (6-14) after collecting two hits. He scored a run as well.
-Juan Francisco also recorded a couple of hits on the afternoon.

The Bad:
-Cueto surrendered five hits and three runs (two earned) in his second start of the spring. He exited the game after the second inning in favor of Clay Zavada.
-Zavada also struggled in his brief appearance. The southpaw walked two and allowed two runs and one hit. He was lifted after retiring the side in the third.
-Cincy committed three miscues -- all via fielding.
-The team was just 1-for-8 with RISP.
-Reds hitters were patient enough to draw a base on balls a grand total of ZERO times.
-Lotzkar was guilty of a balk in the top of the seventh. As rare as it is to see a balk occur in the regular season, it seems as though it's become a normality in the preseason.

The Notables:
-A crowd of 6,644 packed Phoenix Municipal Stadium to watch the A's and Reds do battle.
-The team will play host to the Angels at 4:05 PM ET on Sunday. Mat Latos is expected to start followed by Brett Tomko, Ron Mahay, Jose Arredondo and Logan Ondrusek. Jay Bruce will serve as the DH and is expected to receive four at-bats.

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