Bring forth the Ohio Cup?
Finally, southern Ohio’s burden is now lifted. The Reds finally beat the Indians in exhibition baseball with a 7-6 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Last spring out here, Cincinnati was 0-5-1 vs. the Tribe. But don’t drink from your homemade Ohio Cups just yet — there are three more spring games left. Of course, there are six more during the regular season. The Reds got the real Ohio Cup in last year’s Interleague games.
It’s hard to look too much into the results after one day but there was some quick observations.
*Matt Maloney started for Edinson Volquez and looked very, very sharp with two perfect innings. He is trying to earn a spot in the Reds bullpen. One of his fellow contenders for the same bullpen role, Sam LeCure, gave up two hits over two scoreless innings but had four strikeouts.
*Dave Sappelt, who was 3-for-3 in yesterday’s scrimmage, sparked the Reds with a long two-run homer to left field. For a 5-foot-9 guy, it was an impressive knock. He’s not going to let many pitches get by him, but he was called out on strikes to end the top of the ninth.
*For the guys competing for the bench spots, it was a competitive day. Chris Valaika followed Sappelt and made it back-to-back homers with a shot to right-center field. Chris Heisey started the winning ninth inning rally with a one-out walk and Jeremy Hermida kept it going with a single through the left side.
*Corky Miller (and his mustache) had the biggest hit with the game-winning two-run double off of the right field wall.
*Jose Arredondo made his first big league appearance of any kind in over a year and got the save in the ninth. Although he gave up a leadoff single, Arrendondo got a guy to hit a line drive to Yonder Alonso for a double play.
*On the negative side, young pitcher Donnie Joseph got knocked around for five earned runs, three hits and two walks while notching only one out in the seventh.
Overall, Dusty Baker was happy with the game.
“We looked pretty good,” Baker said. “Joseph got roughed up a little bit. He was probably a little nervous. He left some balls down over the heart of the plate after he got a little wild. Other than that, everybody looked pretty good. We played good defense, ran the bases well and had some timely hitting. Our young guys came back and won it for us late.”
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