3/16/2013 7:47 P.M. ET
Reds surge ahead after Chapman's solid start
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The regular season remains nearly two weeks away, but left-handers Madison Bumgarner and Aroldis Chapman looked ready for the real thing Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium, where the Cincinnati Reds topped the San Francisco Giants, 7-6.
Bumgarner became the second straight Giants starter to work five innings, duplicating Matt Cain's effort Friday. Bumgarner surrendered one run and two hits to the Reds while walking one and striking out two. Though Bumgarner allowed just one hit in four shutout innings last Monday against Texas, he said he found a better groove this time.
"Everything felt in rhythm more," Bumgarner said.
Chapman continued his conversion from the bullpen to the rotation by allowing one run and two hits in four innings. Chapman threw 27 pitches in an erratic first inning but retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced.
"The issue I had was I was not commanding any of my pitches," Chapman said, via interpreter Tomas Vera, about his rough opening frame. "I was just throwing too many balls, too many bad pitches."
Trailing, 2-1, the Reds burst ahead with a four-run eighth inning against Giants reliever Javier Lopez. Brodie Greene singled, moved to third on Devin Mesoraco's double and scored on Derrick Robinson's infield single. Catcher Johnny Monell committed a passed ball as Devin Lohman walked, enabling Mesoraco to score. After a double steal, Yorman Rodriguez singled home Robinson and pinch-hitter Xavier Paul's groundout delivered Lohman.
Adam Duvall homered for the Giants in their half of the eighth and added a two-run double in the ninth to make it a one-run game.
Each team scored in the first inning. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, playing his first game since March 8 after weathering a hamstring injury, grounded a leadoff triple past first base and scored on Donald Lutz's groundout.
The Giants pulled even after loading the bases with nobody out as Chapman walked Andres Torres and Marco Scutaro before yielding Pablo Sandoval's single. Chapman flung a wild pitch, enabling Torres to score.
The score remained tied when Scutaro singled to lead off the Giants' sixth. Sandoval followed with a double to score pinch-runner Kensuke Tanaka. That hit hiked Sandoval's Cactus League average to .435 (10-for-23).
Up next: The Reds return to Goodyear Ballpark on Sunday for a 4:05 p.m. ET game vs. the Indians. Mat Latos will be making his fourth start of the spring and Jonathan Broxton will be among those who follow from the bullpen. The status of former Indians star Shin-Soo Choo is in doubt after he was scratched from Saturday's game vs. the Brewers with back spasms. Choo has seven hits in his last nine at-bats.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.