03/03/12 7:02 PM EST
Stubbs, Soto lead offense in Reds' opener
Center fielder rips two-run double; prospect homers in 6-6 tie
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Trailing by a run entering the ninth, the Indians scored two runs off Reds reliever Kanekoa Texeira to take the lead, but Todd Frazier answered with a home run in the bottom half of the frame to conclude the scoring.
"We had good pitching and played good defense," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We had a couple of errors, but my guys usually don't make them. We saw some good pitching and threw out a couple of baserunners."
Cleveland took a 4-0 lead through three innings. Against Reds starter Mike Leake in the top of the first, freshly installed leadoff hitter Michael Brantley hit a double to right field. After an error by second baseman Brandon Phillips on an Asdrubal Cabrera grounder put Brantley on third base, Brantley scored on a sacrifice fly from Carlos Santana.
In the second inning, Lonnie Chisenhall, who is competing for the Indians' starting third-base job, hit an RBI single to right field that scored Jason Kipnis. Leake -- a good bet for the fourth spot in the Reds' rotation -- finished by allowing two runs -- one earned -- on four hits over two innings. Lefty reliever Ron Mahay gave up two more runs in the third inning, including an RBI double to right-center-field by Casey Kotchman.Indians bullpen candidate Frank Herrmann gave up four runs on five hits to the Reds in the fourth. Scott Rolen's second hit of the game was an RBI single to center field. Drew Stubbs also went 2-for-2 as he followed with a two-run double. Rookie Devin Mesoraco tied the game at 4 with a single to left field that scored Stubbs. Batting in the Reds' fifth against Robinson Tejeda, first-base prospect Neftali Soto hit a go-ahead homer to right field. Cincinnati's veteran relievers performed well after Mahay's departure. Nick Masset had a single and a balk allowed but notched a scoreless fourth inning. Logan Ondrusek worked one inning with a strikeout, and Jose Arredondo had a hit allowed with two strikeouts in the sixth. Left-hander David Huff, who started for the Indians, allowed three hits and struck out one over two scoreless innings.
"We saw some good things today," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Especially early with the guys who started the game -- our original lineup. We did some good situational hitting, moving guys around and driving them in when we had to from third with less than two outs."
Indians up next: It's right-hander Jeanmar Gomez's turn to take the ball in the race for the fifth-starter spot. On Sunday, Gomez is scheduled to toe the rubber for Cleveland in a 3:05 p.m. ET tilt against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. He's competing against Huff, Kevin Slowey and Zach McAllister for the lone opening in the Tribe's starting staff. Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start, though, and Josh Tomlin is also set to make his spring debut.Reds up next: Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman will make their spring debuts on Sunday when the Reds face the Indians. Both pitchers are trying to earn spots at the back of the rotation. Bailey will start while Chapman is slated to enter from the bullpen. Rookie Zack Cozart, trying to lock down the regular shortstop role, is expected to be in the starting lineup for the second straight day.