Solid relief lifts Reds over Rays
Saarloos strikes out two in 2 1/3 scoreless innings
REDS 5, DEVIL RAYS 4
at Sarasota, Fla.
Friday, March 30
Reds at the plate: Juan Castro hit a two-run double to highlight a five-run first inning. Scott Hatteberg doubled and walked with an RBI in the first. Ken Griffey Jr. singled to drive in a run. Cincinnati pulled all its starters except Chad Moeller after four innings.
Devil Rays at the plate: Akinori Iwamura singled twice and drove in a run. Iwamura is hitting .200 for the spring. Jonny Gomes singled home a run and walked. B.J. Upton had three hits and an RBI. Brendan Harris, who was with Cincinnati briefly last season, was 0-for-5 and struck out twice. Delmon Young, the brother of former Red Dmitri Young, was hitless in three at bats.
Reds on the mound: Matt Belisle and Kirk Saarloos continued their rivalry for the fifth-starter spot. Belisle started Friday and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Saarloos followed with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Rheal Cormier allowed a run on two hits. Mike Stanton escaped a one-out jam in the eighth inning. Rule 5 Draft choice Jared Burton pitched a perfect ninth for a save.
Devil Rays on the mound: Jae Seo allowed five first-inning runs on six hits. He finished with three scoreless innings with one hit. Al Reyes and Shawn Camp each pitched a scoreless inning, while Gary Glover allowed two hits in two scoreless frames.
Grapefruit League records: Reds 18-10; Devil Rays 9-19.
Up next: The Reds play in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday against the Florida Marlins at 2:00 p.m. ET. They will also send a Minor League team against Toronto in Dunedin, Fla., to fulfill its Grapefruit League schedule at 1:05 p.m.
The Devil Rays host the New York Mets in an exhibition game at Tropicana Field at 1:05 p.m.
Gary Schatz is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.