Nice day for Cozart
A few odds and ends from the Reds 9-2 win over the Indians on Saturday….
*Nice day for Zack Cozart, especially during the third inning. He led off the top half with a triple to the wall in left field. He ended the bottom half with a spectacular diving stop behind second base and made the throw to first on Carlos Santana’s hard grounder up the middle. Cozart added a three-run triple with two outs in the fourth inning. The second one was a little generous as it skipped through third baseman Andy LaRoche’s glove and went down the line past left fielder Matt LaPorta, who did not play the ball well as it rolled to the corner.
*Brandon Phillips got his money’s worth on his first home run of spring. The leadoff blast — on a 2-2 Ubaldo Jimenez pitch — was launched to left field over the fence, over the berm and beyond the outer fencing. We don’t get distance estimates for spring homers.
*Bronson Arroyo made it three solid starts in a row for the Reds rotation with 4 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. He threw 50 pitches, plus another 17 in the bullpen. Arroyo, who has a 6.00 ERA after three starts, was cognizant of the fact that Reds starter had been getting roughed up in the early going of games.
“Regardless of how long you’ve been playing the game and I know Spring Training has been going smooth for the whole team, you never want to see your starting pitchers get racked around a lot,” Arroyo said. “It gives a bad mood to the organization as far as the way things are headed, even though it doesn’t mean a whole lot. It was nice to go out there, get off to a good start and have nice lead and make everybody comfortable about what we’re doing out there.”
*Chris Heisey, who entered the day batting .115, was 2-for-2 today with a single to left field and an infield hit to the shortstop. Heisey also stole second and third base in the fourth inning.
*First pitch temperature: 73 degrees. The forecast indicates this could be the last warm day for a little while. It’s supposed to be a high of 59 with rain on Sunday.
*After the game, I went back to the Reds complex, where LHP Bill Bray did a pretty cool thing. Bray shaved his head to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity committed to funding research and finding cures for childhood cancers. Bray’s 10-year-old cousin Trevor is current battling cancer and Bray wanted to do something to help. So far, the campaign for donations before the big shave raised over $3,600.
“The idea came when my cousin Trevor and his Dad called me and asked if I could donate a couple of baseballs and have some guys on the team sign them for a charity auction to go along with the St. Baldrick’s event,” Bray explained. “I said maybe I can do one better and shave my head and maybe raise some good money for the foundation.”
Ten-year-old Erin Bailey of Scottsdale, a cancer survivor herself, was selected by St. Baldrick’s to do the honors of shaving Bray’s head. There will be a story and video later on Reds.com/MLB.com.