Final score: Twins 10, Reds 4
For starter Micah Owings, it was a decent first time on the mound for the Reds. Owings threw three scoreless innings with two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Only two balls were solidly hit — Brendan Harris’ double to the center field wall in the first inning and a tailing liner to center field that Willy Taveras where made a nice diving catch in the third.
Owings mostly threw fastballs in the first two innings and kept the ball down pretty well. By the third, he started mixing it up. Considering it was the first game action he had seen since August when he was shut down with a sore shoulder, Owings was pleased.
“Initially warming up during pre-game stuff, you start thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve been out there,” Owings said. “It was nice to get back out there and compete. Everything felt pretty good. For the first time out, I was pretty happy. The arm felt good, most important.”
It wasn’t a smooth first outing for Francisco Cordero, who gave up two earned runs and four hits (including two infield singles) in the fourth inning. Brian Buscher’s two-run home run to right field was the big hit off Cordero. I happened to miss the whole inning because I was in the clubhouse talking to Owings.
After Cordero, David Weathers worked a perfect fifth inning. In the sixth, Arthur Rhodes gave up two earned runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in the sixth.
A four-run seventh got the Reds on the scoreboard. Danny Richar lined a single and scored on Juan Francisco’s RBI single to left field. Craig Tatum added a RBI single to left field and Kevin Barker hit a two-run double to right field.
For those itching to get Joey Votto moved to left field to make room for Yonder Alonso, it wasn’t an easy day for the kid at first base. Alonso missed a scoop in the dirt in the seventh and committed a run-scoring E3 on Luke Hughes’ slow, slow roller up the first base line in the eighth. That would have been the third out. The next batter, Brock Petersen, hit a grand slam to right field. So that was five unearned runs off pitcher Ramon Ramirez that inning.
“Yonder was a little out of control and too aggressive,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He comes in early every morning and works on his defense. He’s getting a lot better.”