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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, February 28, 2017

Reds Bats Crack Reds Pitchers Smacked

It looked like the Reds were going to win its first Cactus League game but shoddy defense reared its ugly head and the Reds went down again 10-9 to a Chicago White Sox split squad.  The Reds are now 0-5.

Adam Duvall hit a two-run double off White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez.  Ryan Raburn followed with a two-run home run to right.

The four-run frame erased an early White Sox lead.

Everth Cabrera doubled off Reds’ starter Brandon Finnegan who moved up a day to take Anthony DeSclafani’s turn.  DeSclafani has a tender elbow.  Two ground balls sent Cabrera across the plate.

The Reds scored again in the second inning. 

Zach Vincej replaced Zack Cozart in the Reds lineup.  Rain delayed Cozart’s spring debut.
The Reds’ starting shortstop is being brought along slowly and management didn’t want to take a chance with the wet field.

Jose Peraza singled for the second time as Vincej sprinted to third.  A fly to deep center by Desmond Jennings scored Vincej. Jennings and Raburn are competing with Raburn for a reserve outfielder spot on the bench.

Finnegan retired the last five batters he faced in his first spring game.

“My plan was to throw fastball, change up and throw them for strikes,” Finnegan said.  “That’s all I wanted to do and that’s what I did.  They (White Sox) were free swinging. I’m happy with it.”

Finnegan has been in camp for two weeks before taking the mound.

“It is no fun sitting out,” Finnegan said.  “I like competing a lot.”

Raisel Iglasias allowed a hit and a walk, while striking out two batters in two scoreless innings.

Drew Storen, the Reds’ most notable free agent signing this winter, had a rocky outing in his first appearance.  Storen allowed a run scoring single to Omar Narvaez and a two-run double to Leury Garcia in 2/3 of an inning.

“I’m not concerned about his stuff,” manager Bryan Price said.  “He had good action on his fastball.”

What really hurt was a dropped fly ball by Tony Renda with Jumbo Diaz pitching.  What would have been the final out of the sixth inning let two unearned runs cross the plate.

While the Reds bats went dormant, Nefi Ogando, a waiver claim from Pittsburgh in the first days of camp, gave up three runs on three hits.  The White Sox scored a run off Austin Brice.

The Reds trailed 10-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Blake Trahan walked. Arismendy Alcantara hustled down the line to beat the relay on an attempted double play.  He took second on defensive indifference and scored on a double by Brendon Dixon.  Renda made up for his error with a double down the line.  Dilson Herrera doubled for his second hit of the game and scored when Jesse Winker’s hard ground ball was booted by Leury Garcia at secondbase. The Reds came up a run short when Hernan Iribarren’s ground ball to shortstop Cabrera, who nipped Winker at secondbase.

“Our hitters are ahead of our pitchers right now,” Price said.  “We had some good at bats throughout the game.  Even in the middle innings, we hit some balls hard that outfielders ran down.  We just need to get our pitchers out there more until they get comfortable.”

Note: White Sox leftfielder Jacob May was 0-for-4 with three strike outs.  May played for Lakota West High School and is the grandson of former Reds’ firstbaseman, Lee May...Joey Votto singled for his first hit of the spring.

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