Nice days for Bailey, Francisco
The Reds were handed an 11-4 trouncing by the Cubs on Saturday in Mesa but most the damage was done beginning in the fifth inning when most of the regulars were gone.
*3B Scott Rolen was, as they say in hockey, a healthy scratch from the Reds lineup vs. the Cubs on Saturday. There was no injury issue that took him out of the original lineup.
“He’s been playing a lot and plus we have a tough schedule next week,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
The Reds have an “A” and “B” game scheduled for Sunday, a road trip to Tucson on Tuesday and day-night split-squad games on Wednesday.
Rolen’s replacement, third base prospect Juan Francisco, provided ample fill-in work. In his first two at-bats, Francisco crushed home runs. In the second inning, he hit a 3-2 pitch deep into the right-center field seats. On a 2-0 pitch in the fourth, Francisco went the other way with a long ball to left-center.
“He had a huge day. He has some tremendous power,” Baker said. “He blasted those balls.”
*Francisco is 4-for-11 (.364) in five games.
*Paul Janish also got into the power game with a solo homer in the top of the fifth.
*It was a very good afternoon for Reds starter Homer Bailey, who allowed one earned run and three hits over three innings with no walks and two strikeouts. In the third, Bailey gave up a one-out double to Jim Adduci. He scored on Darwin Barney’s seeing-eye single under second baseman Brandon Phillips’ glove.
“It took me a little while to get loose. The last two innings, I felt a lot better,” Bailey said. “I think it’s just getting back into games and stuff. You can throw all of these bullpens but you’re never ready for game situations until it happens.”
Bailey had thrown two scoreless innings in his previous outing, a ‘B’ game vs. Milwaukee. He also worked in the team intrasquad game and looked good.
“Homer threw the ball excellent,” Baker said. “He had good velocity today and very good location. He’s throwing as well as I’ve seen him.”
It’s been a quiet spring for Bailey, in terms of the attention he’s gotten. All of it has seemingly shifted to the latest young pitcher to arrive, Aroldis Chapman.
“I’m glad I’m done with that period now and focus on the game and the results,” Bailey said. “He’s going through a lot and he’s throwing really well. That’s good to see. I don’t know what the plans are for the fifth spot and it’s none of my business. He is definitely going to help this team out very soon.”
*After Bailey departed, fifth starter candidate Micah Owings gave up three earned runs and four hits over two innings with one walk and one strikeout. His big mistake was a two-out walk in the fifth. The next batter, Bryan LaHair hit a three-run homer.
*It was a rough afternoon for non-roster pitcher Jon Adkins, who lasted only one-plus innings but was tapped for five earned runs and seven hits with one strikeout. During the three-run Cubs sixth, Adkins gave up four-straight hits.
*Pedro Viola was also touched up for two earned runs and three hits in his inning.
*The Cubs used a lot of younger players in the split-squad game. Many of their regulars were playing the White Sox in Las Vegas. Chicago outhit the Reds, 18-5.
“A lot of guys over there are calling home — I’m ready Dad,” Baker said.
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