The Reds’ spring record dropped to 4-4-1 following a 6-3 loss to the A’s on Saturday afternoon. Here are some of the items of note:
*It wasn’t a great afternoon for Johnny Cueto. 2 ip, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HB. Cueto threw 50 pitches.
“It was one of those days that I felt too strong so I could not control my body on the mound,” Cueto said. “My arm was feeling so good that I was overthrowing today.”
Reds manager Dusty Baker still liked what he saw from Cueto.
“He was throwing real hard,” Baker said. “He was missing on the inside. He didn’t have his inside command today. But he was throwing the ball good.”
*The defense was not very robust with a total of six errors combined. The Reds made three of them — all fielding errors.
“We just didn’t play very good defense today. The infield got a little choppy,” Baker said. “That was really the difference in the ballgame. They [the A’s] didn’t play good defense either.”
*In the first inning, Juan Francisco botched a routine grounder by Manny Ramirez, which allowed an unearned run to score. It came just after Cueto got a double play from Seth Smith.
“It cost [Cueto] a lot of pitches,” Baker said. “He should have been out of there with no runs and nine or 10 less pitches. We were counting on him to go three innings, hopefully.”
*Kris Negron, who replaced Francisco, and shortstop Wilson Valdez made the other Reds errors.
*Yoenis Cespedes was 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs vs. the Reds. I was inside the clubhouse while Cueto talked to reporters when a roar from the crowd could be heard. It turned out it was Cespedes hitting his first homer off of LHP Jeff Francis.
*The Francis line: 3 ip, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
*LHP Clay Zavada: 1 ip, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. Zavada walked his first two batters of the third inning, which led to a RBI single by Josh Donaldson and a sac fly by former Red Adam Rosales.
*There were a couple of wacky moments. In his first at-bat after Ball 2, Ramirez appeared to think it was Ball 4 because he lowered his bat and seemed headed to first base. (Manny being Manny?) In the second inning after Zack Cozart flied out with a runner on third base, left fielder Seth Smith fired a strike to home plate to get the runner. It was all for naught since that was the third out.
*First pitch temperature: 66 degrees
*I won’t be around camp for a while since I’m taking a four-day break from Sunday-Wednesday to spend some time with the family. Be back on the case Thursday.