Masset makes his pitch for rotation

Published 12:09 am Friday, March 6, 2009

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Nick Masset pitched three scoreless innings in his bid to make the Reds’ rotation, and Darnell McDonald hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th to give Cincinnati a 10-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

McDonald homered off Ronnie Uviedo to give the Reds their second straight extra-inning victory. It was the fourth grand slam of the spring for Cincinnati.

Masset, who was acquired in the late-season trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to the Chicago White Sox, made his second start of the spring. His first time out, against Boston on Saturday, Masset allowed four runs on four hits, a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch — all in one inning.

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‘‘I felt like it was my debut all over again,’’ Masset said Thursday. ‘‘You train all offseason for that first game. I tried to do too much.’’

Paul Maholm allowed one run on two hits in his three innings for Pittsburgh.

‘‘He was working on some things and made a couple of mistakes,’’ Pittsburgh manager John Russell said.

‘‘The ball didn’t go where he wanted it to. He’s consistent though. He’s aggressive and throws strikes.’’

Laynce Nix doubled home a pair of runs for Cincinnati, and Alex Gonzalez had one hit in two at- bats for the second game in a row.

Notes: Gonzalez, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, will play in the field for the first time in over a year this weekend or early next week. … Pirates first baseman Steve Pearce is being held out of games with a sore right calf. ‘‘We are going to wait until he gets the soreness out. He can hit but no other baseball activity,’’ Russell said. … Attendance was 3,640.