04/01/06 4:00 PM ET
Milton strikes out nine in spring finale
Roster addition Denorfia drives in two runs
By Gary Schatz / Special to MLB.com
at Sarasota, Fla.
Saturday, April 1 Reds at the plate: Chris Denorfia, who was recalled from Louisville on Saturday, drove in two runs with a bases-loaded walk and an infield single. Denorfia earned a roster spot as the fourth outfielder. Minor League infielder Gary Patchett hit a home run off Danny Graves. Chris Dickerson doubled for the second straight day. His two-run double snapped a 5-5 tie.
Indians at the plate: Jason Cooper tied the game with a three-run eighth-inning home run off Mike Burns. Ben Broussard had two hits. The Indians struck out 12 times against Cincinnati pitchers, including two each by Grady Sizemore and Aaron Boone.
Reds on the mound: Eric Milton struck out five of the first six batters he faced in his final spring outing. Milton pitched five innings for the third straight outing. He allowed a run on three hits and two walks. Milton struck out nine. He had 10 in his previous 10 1/3 innings of the spring. Matt Belisle pitched a scoreless inning. Burns got the win but blew a save by allowing a three-run home run to Cooper. Burns had a 1.42 ERA coming into the game.
Indians on the mound: Paul Byrd lost his control in the third inning. He got two quick outs then Tony Womack doubled and Byrd walked the next three batters. Reds Minor Leaguers opened the fifth with four straight hits off Byrd. Byrd threw 96 pitches and got his work in, which was all manager Eric Wedge wanted: "He had to work that one inning but he bowed his neck and did what he had to do. He made his pitches to get out of it. He knows what he's doing."
Grapefruit League records: Reds 22-11; Indians 20-12-1.
Up next: The Indians fly to Chicago to play in the nationally televised opener Sunday at 8 p.m. ET against world champions and division rivals, the Chicago White Sox. C.C. Sabathia will start for Cleveland and Mark Buehrle will start for Chicago.
Cincinnati will work out at 2:00 p.m. ET at Great American Ball Park on Sunday. The Reds will send Aaron Harang to the mound to face the Chicago Cubs' Carlos Zambrano on Monday.
Gary Schatz is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.