Friday, March 30, 2012

Redlegs rally late to edge out Indians

Ryan LaMarre proved to be the unlikely hero on Friday
Goodyear, Arizona -- Cincinnati (13-16-1) used a 5-run eighth to help propel themselves past the Cleveland Indians (9-17) on Friday. Johnny Cueto made the start in what is fully expected to be his final tuneup of the spring. Don't look now, but Dusty Baker's bunch has now won three games in a row. Could they be building some momentum to carry into the regular season? We shall see.

Until then, here's a peek at the good, the bad, and some notables from Friday's matinee:

The Good:
- Cueto held the Indians to two runs and four hits over six frames. Both runs allowed came via homers. The next time he'll take the mound is on Opening Day against the Marlins.
- Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco smacked back-to-back homers in the bottom of the eighth. The offense exploded for FIVE runs in the frame.Frazier leads the team with five longballs this spring, Francisco's not far behind with four.
- Ryan LaMarre crushed a 2-run homer that gave the Reds a 6-5 lead. He had previously been hitless in nine at-bats during the preseason.
- Devin Mesoraco and Ryan Ludwick both chipped in with a double a piece.
- Reds pitchers combined to walk just one batter all game long.
- Sean Marshall was credited with the win after tossing a 1-2-3 eighth.
- Jose Arredondo slammed the door in the ninth to earn the save.

The Bad:
- Donnie Joseph was treated to a rough afternoon. He surrendered four hits and three runs in one inning of relief. He was also charged with a throwing error on a pickoff attempt.
- Mesoraco struckout twice and was charged with a passed ball.
- Brandon Phillips, Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce were all 0-for-2 at the dish.
- The Redlegs had as many hits in one inning (8th) as they did in all other innings combined. Better late than never though!

The Notables:
- The 3,649 fans in attendance labored through sunny skies, little breeze, and steamy 86-degree conditions.
- Up next: The Redlegs head to Scottsdale on Saturday for a clash with the San Francisco Giants. Jeff Francis (0-2, 8.44 ERA) will get the start and square off against SF's Ryan Vogelsong. Fellow left-handers Bill Bray and Sean Marshall are scheduled to pitch in relief. The game is scheduled to get underway at 6:05 PM ET.
- The battle for the last two on the bench ultimately boils down to Juan Francisco, Wilson Valdez, Paul Janish, Todd Frazier, and Willie Harris. One note to consider is that both Valdez and Francisco are out of options.

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