Rocky First Inning Sets Back Tribe; Reds 8, Indians 6
By Mike Brandyberry
While yesterday’s spring opener featured mostly starters from both the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, today’s contest looked more like the junior varsity edition of each teams. With no one playing from yesterday’s contest, today’s resulted in a sloppy effort with the Reds winning 8-6. The Reds used a five run first inning to set the tone.
Like so many Ubaldo Jimenez starts a year ago, the disaster started quietly. After retiring the first hitter, a ground ball to Jack Hannahan became an infield hit and then a Russ Canzler error set the table for the onslaught. Miguel Cairo blooped a hit into right field to score two runs, followed by an infield hit by Wilson Valdez in front of the mound to plate another and then a solid single by Willie Harris plated two more, giving the Reds a 5-0 first inning lead.
Jimenez left the game after just one inning of work, allowing five hits and five runs, but only one was earned. Canzler and Aaron Cunningham each committed errors in the first inning. Jimenez’s outing would have to be deemed an incomplete as he did not receive defense or luck for his effort.
The Tribe answered right back when Cristian Guzman walked, Canzler singled and Shelley Duncan hit a three run home run deep left field, cutting the lead to 5-3 after one inning of play. Josh Tomlin worked two scoreless innings before Joe Smith allowed two runs in his inning of work. Chris Ray worked a scoreless inning and Jeanmar Gomez worked two scoreless. Gomez is one of the several competitors for the fifth starter spot. Rob Bryson, a member of the C.C. Sabathia trade, gave up a solo home run in the eighth inning. Hector Ambriz worked a scoreless ninth inning.
In addition to Duncan’s homer, Russ Canzler had two hits and a walk with an RBI and Lou Marson contributed with two hits of his own. Matt LaPorta struggled in his first Cactus League game, striking out twice and grounding into a fielder’s choice. The fielder’s choice would have been an inning ending double play if not for an errant throw. The Tribe lineup had five players who all could be vying for a role in left field, with Duncan and Canzler having the best days.
Tomorrow Justin Masterson will start against the Reds Johnny Cueto. Also scheduled to pitch for the Tribe are Derek Lowe, Zach McAllister, Tony Sipp and Dan Wheeler. Monday’s game can be heard live on WTAM 1100 AM at 3:05 pm, Cleveland time.
Photo: Associated Press