Summing up Game 1 of spring

Here are some takeaway items out of the Reds’ 11-10 loss to the Indians in the exhibition opener on Friday:

*For one game at least, the new-look top portion of the order worked to perfection. New leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo started the game with a walk, setting the stage for a five-run first inning as nine men came to the plate.

*Joey Votto was 2-for-3 with a RBI single on the ground to left field in the first. Votto’s second hit was roller up the middle. He didn’t appear to have any obvious issues with his knee.

“Joey looked great, actually,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He was running the bases well. You didn’t see any signs of anything. He swung the bat well.”

*Choo did a pretty good job getting to a deep hit to right-center field by Carlos Santana. Choo got it on one bounce to hold the non-speedy Santana to a single.

*The battle for No. 2 catcher could be interesting. Miguel Olivo whacked a 0-2 pitch to left center field for a solo homer. In the fifth inning on a 1-2 pitch, Devin Mesoraco tattooed a two-run blast to left-center.

*Pitching was not robust today. The first inning alone lasted 44 minutes after the Reds took a 5-0 lead on Giovanni Soto, who did not finish the first. Tony Cingrani gave up three runs in the bottom half. The Reds lost in a three-run bottom of the ninth against Carlos Contreras and Drew Hayes. The two teams combined for 27 hits.

“The offense was moving pretty good,” Baker said. “We had a lot of young guys out there. A lot of walks, untimely walks especially at the end of the game. You want to rescue them but they have to get their work in.”

*Earlier today on the practice fields, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Aroldis Chapman and Mat Latos were among the Reds pitchers that threw live batting practice. All of them faced Minor League hitters.

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