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Marte’s HR lifts Indians over Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Andy Marte hit a two-run homer to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

David Huff pitched two scoreless innings and the Indians, whose pitching staff was among the worst in the AL last year, have given up four runs in their first two exhibition games.

“Another well-pitched ballgame makes us happy,” Acta said “That’s what we’re trying to do out here. To pitch two games with two runs apiece in Arizona is very tough.”

Reds manager Dusty Baker was more impressed with right-hander Johnny Cueto trying to give a postgame interview in English.

“Go on, Johnny Cueto,” Baker said of the Dominican Republic native. “That’s improvement right there.”

Huff, a left-hander who led the Indians with 11 wins as a rookie, struck out three and gave up two hits. He’s battling several others for a rotation spot.

“I’ve been working on the left-on-left change and it felt good,” Huff said after fanning lefties Chris Dickerson and Joey Votto with the pitch.

“It’s two games,” Acta said of Huff’s rotation standing. “Everybody’s tied for first.”

Cueto allowed five hits and four runs — two earned — over two innings.

“Cueto threw some quality pitches,” Baker said. “He was working on some things, a changeup, a cutter. He’s trying to perfect those things to go along with the stuff he has.”

Part of Cueto’s comments were translated by a ballpark security officer. The hard thrower said he felt very strong after not pitching winter ball for the first time.

“I just chilled at home,” Cueto said.

“I feel like I will have a good year. I am working on my curveball and I feel really good about what I’m doing.”

Veteran infielder Mark Grudzielanek, trying to win a roster spot in Cleveland, had an RBI double and rookie Nick Weglarz a run-scoring single in the first inning.

“He did what he’s done for 15 years — hit,” Acta said of the 39-year-old Grudzielanek. “He’s in great shape.”

Marte’s two-run homer made it 4-0 in the second.

“For years, people have been labeling him as a perennial prospect who can’t hit up here,” Acta said. “He has shortened his swing and we’ll see what happens.”

Miguel Cairo’s two-run homer off Tony Sipp in the sixth pulled the Reds to 4-2.

Baker got his first look at pitching prospects Mike Leake and Travis Wood against major-league hitters. Wood worked two hitless innings and Leake, a first-round pick in 2009, pitched a perfect seventh. Each had one strikeout.

“It was the first time I’ve seen Wood,” Baker said of the second-round choice in 2005 who had a 1.21 ERA a year ago in the Double-A Southern League. “He threw the ball great. Leake threw the ball as well as Wood. He moved it around changed speeds. He had an idea of what he was doing.”

NOTES: Commissioner Bud Selig made his first visit to the 2-year-old Goodyear Ballpark, now the spring home of both Ohio teams. He said Cincinnati is deserving of hosting an All-Star game at the Great American Ballpark, but noted “teams are lining up for it these days.” … Indians Hall of Famer Bob Feller, 91, threw out the ceremonial first pitch — right over the plate. … Indians rookie 1B-OF Jordan Brown will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee next week and is expected to be out four to eight weeks. … RHP Jason Grilli, in Cleveland’s camp on a minor-league contract, is seeking a second opinion on his right quadriceps injury that may need season-ending surgery.