Cueto impressive in spring debut but Reds fall to Indians

Published 1:41 am Friday, March 6, 2015

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto made his spring debut and allowed one hit and struck out two in two scoreless innings on Thursday.

But reliever Burke Badenhop got hit hard in his Reds debut, giving up five runs while retiring only two batters, and the Cleveland Indians pulled away to a 9-3 victory.

Badenhop allowed Jose Ramirez’s two-run single and Yan Gomez’s two-run homer during Cleveland’s five-run fifth inning. The reliever gave up five hits and walked a batter.

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The Reds signed Badenhop to a one-year, $2.5 million deal last month, trying to improve one of the NL’s worst bullpens. One of the Reds’ three errors set up Cleveland’s big inning.

“Badenhop throws strikes,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We didn’t turn a double play and the wheels fell off.”

Cueto won 20 games last season and is entering the final year of his contract. He’s trying to not let the contract uncertainty distract him.

“I felt good,” Cueto said. “I wanted to keep the ball down, and that’s what I did.”

Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer allowed a run and three hits over three innings, his first of the spring. The Indians are expecting big things from Bauer, who went 5-8 last season and had trouble in the early innings. Manager Terry Francona said the right-hander is in sync with what the team expects.

“It was really gratifying to see he takes time to think all those things through and the goals are very, very similar,” Francona said. “That’s a really good thing.”


Indians: Nick Swisher and Brandon Moss are both making progress, but at different speeds. Swisher, who had surgery on both knees in August, is steadily adding to running drills designed to improve his mobility. “He’s really progressing,” Francona said, “but he’s not going to be quite as quick as Moss.” Moss had surgery on his hip in October. Francona said it wouldn’t be surprising he’s playing in games next week.

Reds: Homer Bailey threw in the bullpen for the third time on Thursday morning. He’s expected to throw one more bullpen session, then batting practice before appearing in a game. Bailey had surgery on his forearm by the elbow in September and doesn’t expect to be ready until mid-April.


Indians: Bauer said he mostly worked on his two-seam fastball and split-finger during his three innings.

“It was nice to be in a game situation again,” he said. “In live BP and bullpens, the adrenaline isn’t quite there and you never quite know how things are going to turn out when your adrenaline is there and you have a defense behind you in a stadium. I was pleased with it.”

Reds: Price said that first baseman Joey Votto is “very close” to playing in a game. Votto missed most of last season with strained muscles above his left knee and hasn’t yet played in a spring training game. He’s cleared for all activities.


Indians: RHP Danny Salazar, another of the pitchers vying for the No. 5 starter’s job, will make his spring debut on Friday against Kansas City. Salazar opened last season in Cleveland’s rotation, was sent back to the minors and finished the season with the Indians, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 13 of his last 16 starts.

Reds: LHP Tony Cingrani will pitch against the Cubs’ Jon Lester on Friday. Shoulder problems wiped out most of Cingrani’s season last year. He’s a leading candidate for one of two openings in the rotation.