Bailey turns in solid outing in Reds’ loss to Blue Jays

Published 12:08 am Sunday, March 8, 2009

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Homer Bailey kept the Cincinnati Reds in the game Saturday without his best stuff.

It was another encouraging development for the former first-round draft pick.

Bailey worked four effective innings in a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing one run and six hits.

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Bailey, who threw four shutout innings over his first two spring outings, gave up Aaron Hill’s RBI single in the third but that was it. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out one and walked none.

‘‘I didn’t have as good stuff as I had earlier (this spring) but I was able to battle through it,’’ Bailey said. ‘‘I was able to keep the ball down and let (two) double plays work for me. You’re going to have those days. Those are the days that are most important, where you have to get through it one way or the other.’’

Bailey, trying to win a spot in Cincinnati’s rotation this spring, went 0-6 with a 7.93 ERA in two stints in the majors last year. It was a major disappointment after he went 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA during a 2007 call-up.

Kevin Millar hit his second homer of the spring, Scott Campbell drove in three runs and Jason Lane went 3-for-3 for Toronto. Jesse Litsch allowed one run in three innings.

Ricky Romero, who took over for Litsch in the fourth, turned in his best outing of the spring. He struck out five, allowed one run and three hits and walked two in three innings.

In Romero’s first two appearances, a combined three innings against the Yankees and Phillies, he issued seven walks, threw a wild pitch and hit a batter while allowing four runs and one hit.