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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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Eugenio Suarez Homers Amir Garrett Sheds Nerves But Reds Lose To Indians

Eugenio hit the Reds first home run of the spring and Amir Garrett showed signs that he is close to big league record but the Reds bowed to the American League Champions 8-2 on Saturday.

Suarez in his second year as a thirdbaseman took the Indians playoff hero, Ryan Merritt deep in the second inning,  Hernan Iribarren drove in Jesse Winker, who singled for a second run to give Garrett a 2-1 lead that didn’t hold up after the 6‘5“ former college basketball player left the game.

It was the first time Garrett started a spring game against Major League hitters.  He pitched in two games last spring but only late in the game against minor leaguers.

“I’m not going to lie to you.  I was a little nervous,” Garrett said.  “I didn’t know what my nerves were going to be like today. I’m all calm now.  I got the first one out of the way. I’m ready to roll. It was like the first day of school.”

The Indians got to Garrett for a run in the first inning.

Jose Ramiez doubled and Edwin Encarnacion singled but he struck out two, catching Carlos Santana looking and Yan Gomes swinging.  Garrett finished with 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk.

He feels the competition for the last two spots in the rotation.  There are two spots open following Scott Feldman, Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan in the Reds’ starting rotation.  The front runners are Tim Adleman, Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson, who have already pitched in the big leagues.

The next tier includes Rookie Davis, Sal Romano and Garrett. 

“It’s going to be tough.  All those guys are my good friends,” Garrett said.  “We’re all competing for the last spot. I can be anyone of ours (to win the job).  We all have great stuff.  We all compete. I’m looking forward to see what happens at the end.  Whoever gets it I’m happy or happy for them.”

The Reds did very little after the second inning on offense.

“We had some good at bats but didn’t get the big hit,” Manager Bryan Price said.
But Garrett was impressive.

"I like the way he was aggressive. He had a couple of strikeouts on the slider,” Price said. “It looked like right-handers had a hard time picking up the spin. We got him stretched out but got his pitch count up in the first inning."

Jumbo Diaz gave up two runs.  Jackson Stephens gave up three, including a home run to the Indians up and coming star Bradley Zimmer. Austin Brice and Ariel Hernandez gave up a run apiece. Lisalverto Bonilla pitched a scoreless inning.  Evan Mitchell and Ismael Guillon finished off the last out in two other frames.

Encarncion, Zimmer and Nellie Rodriguez had two hits for the Indians.

Their bullpen of Mike Clevenger, Andrew Miller, Shawn Armstrong, Joe Colon, Steve Delabar, Perci Garner and James Russell pitch one scoreless inning each.

Suarez and Iribarren had two hits for Cincinnati.

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