Lots of crooked numbers

If you’re one of those folks that love crisp pitching, quick innings and a low-scoring affair…be glad you were not at grand HoHoKam Park on Friday. For those that enjoy bountiful offense, it was hitter’s delight for both teams as the Reds eeked out a 14-13 win that featured a combined 40 hits.

“I told the guard sitting next to me in the second inning that this looks like a 13-12 game,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Then we had that five-run lead, I said ‘man, I’m nervous.’ Anything can happen in these games, especially in this park.  Our guys kept battling and we scored just enough.”

The highlights:

*Sam LeCure came in with seven scoreless innings over four relief appearances in the making of a strong bid for a bullpen spot. LeCure started vs. Chicago and had a long afternoon for just 2 1/3 innings of work. He allowed six earned runs and eight hits with one walk and no strikeouts.

LeCure had a one-walk, scoreless first inning but the hits started coming in a two-run Cubs second.

“I felt like I made some pitches in the second inning to get out of that deal,” LeCure said. “We had a potential double play that was going to be tough to turn.”

The lasers started coming in the third as four of his five batters faced reached with sharp line drive hits. Alfonso Soriano’s RBI double was the end.

“I made some pitches I was happy with even though I ended up giving up some runs,” LeCure said. “I haven’t pitched in trouble in all of Spring Training. I didn’t have a guy get to second base until today. I understand it’s going to happen. The last inning, they were hitting missiles all over the place. The ball was starting to come up some. Overall, I’m trying to take some positives from it. I pitched in some trouble, which I hadn’t done. I got stretched out more than I had. I think that will bode well for me when it’s time to pick guys for the team.”

*Daniel Ray Herrera, who is trying to earn a bullpen spot, inherited runners on second and third with one out from LeCure and both scored. A sac fly by Soriano followed. After a wild pitch, Darwin Barney’s RBI single on the ground to left field scored another run. Herrera returned in the fourth inning and picked up two outs. Then he allowed two singles and a walk but escaped the bases loaded jam.

*Jared Burton allowed  three earned runs and three hits over two innings with a homer.

*Matt Maloney gave up three earned runs and five hits over two innings with two walks.

*The regular players played seven innings. The lineup had an Opening Day-type look to it.

*Jonny Gomes, who came in batting .071, went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

*Scott Rolen (3rd inning) and Joey Votto  (5th inning) slugged their first homers of the spring. Both came against Carlos Zambrano on the first pitch. Rolen’s was a three-run shot and Votto’s was for two runs.

*Speaking of Rolen, I took my turn asking him about the discussion of how many games played. It will be seen in today’s feature. Not surprising, he doesn’t buy into the speculation nor worry about injuries.

“You have 162 games ahead of you. We’re going to be injured,” Rolen said. “We’re going to be beat up, banged up, bruised up and that’s a fact. It’s something that we know. So is everyone else in the league. That’s true. Hopefully we stay away from the big injury.”

*Reds starter Homer Bailey pitched on Friday in a Minor League game for Class A Bakersfield vs. Brewers Minor Leaguers. Bailey gave up four earned runs and five hits over 5 1/3 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches.

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