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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Latos Fine Tomko Has Some Tough Luck Mariners Win 8-6

Brett Tomko and Mat Latos made their first spring appearances against the Seattle Mariners in lovely Peoria Stadium on Tuesday.

Latos pitched two innings as scheduled.  He allowed two hits and a walk but escaped being scored upon.  One of the hits was a pop up by Ichiro Suzuki that Willie Harris in left and Paul Janish at short lost in the high sky.  (Seriously, I can never find the ball off the bat out here.)

Latos walked Munenori Kawasaki and Suzuki singled as described above.  Justin Smoak hit one hard to left but Kawasaki and Suzuki translated the hit differently.  Suzuki wanted two bases.  Kawasaki couldn't follow the ball either and took a big turn at third.  Thirdbaseman Wilson Valdez turned to find two runners at third. Suzuki was tagged out.  Latos easily retired the next four batters.

"It was exciting to face live hitters swinging the bat," Latos said.  "Every thing was coming out of my hand good.  The slider was good.  The curve ball had bite to it.  The fastball was live.  The delivery, mechanics every thing felt good," Latos said.

Tomko didn't pitch as badly as his line indicated.

One inning, three hits, five runs, three earned, one walk, one strikeout.

Adam Moore started the trouble with a bloop hit.  Tomko walked Chone Figgins.  Kawasaki bunted to move the runners along but no one covered first.  Miguel Cairo had no play.  Kawasaki was awarded a hit on the play. Suzuki followed with a low line drive just out of Janish's reach. Smoak hit a fly to deep center.  Daryl Jones got to the ball and dropped it.  Two runs scored and runners were left on second and third.  The next two batters hit sacrifice flies.  Tomko finished strong, striking out Alex Liddl.  Without the fielding faux pas, Tomko could have been out of the inning with two runs.

Felix "King Felix" Hernandez was throwing well.  He hit Kris Negron leading off, then retired nine straight four  by strikeout.

Ryan Ludwick singled home a run off Shawn Camp.  Denis Phipps hit a three run home run off Hong-Chih Kuo.  Neftali Soto singled and scored on a bloop single by Chris Valaika.  Donald Lutz hit a long home run off lefthander Lucas Luetge.

Nick Christiani allowed a run on one hit and a walk.  Mark Brackman walked two and gave up two hits, including a double high off the centerfield fence to Adam Moore.

Juan Francisco had his first two at bats.

"He is behind but has enough time to catch up," Dusty Baker said.  "He had two calf injuries and was one of two players that reported overweight.  He was 10 pounds over.  Injuries kept him from working out hard but then you have to stop eating (as much)."

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