Bruce hits HR as Reds belt Mariners 10-1
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Jay Bruce hit his first home run of the spring, Jason Marquis pitched three perfect innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Seattle Mariners 10-1 Sunday.
Bruce has a hit in all four of his games this spring. He’s trying to bounce back from a season in which he batted .217 with 18 home runs and 66 RBIs — he had averaged over 30 homers and 100 RBIs in his previous three years.
Bruce also is trying his best to comply with baseball’s new pace of play rules. He has a habit of taking several steps toward the dugout to collect himself after pitches, but is doing his best to keep one foot in the batter’s box.
Marquis struck out three. The veteran is competing for one of the two open spots in the Cincinnati rotation.
“Marquis had better command,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “All of our pitchers threw the ball well. We were only four over the minimum. It was good to see Raisel throw the ball better.”
Cuban-born Raisel Iglesias, who signed a $30 million contract last summer, has a chance to make the team either as a starter or long relief.
J.A. Happ allowed a two-run homer to Donald Lutz in his first outing this spring.
“Lutz his hit a cutter that was up,” Happ said. “Everything felt fine. It is a matter of finding a release point and being consistent.”
Austin Jackson hit an RBI double for Seattle. Willie Bloomquist, coming back from a fractured knee, was 0 for 3 in his first game.
Mariners closer Fernando Rodney walked one and struck out one in a scoreless inning. He set a team record and led the majors with 48 saves last year.
Reds: Homer Bailey threw 49 pitches in his fourth bullpen session Sunday. He’s coming back from elbow surgery.
“Today was the best day,” he said.
Bailey was unsure what the next step will be for his return. “In my mind I’m ready to face hitters now, but I will do what they tell me to do.” … C Devin Mesoraco was scratched from the lineup. Earlier this week, he was hit by a tip. “Devin did suffer a mild concussion on a foul ball off his mask,” Price said.
Mariners: Taijuan Walker will make his second spring start against the Cleveland Indians.
Reds: LHP Anthony DeSclafani will make his second start against the Los Angeles Angels in the home half of the Reds’ split squad. DeSclafani is a favorite to fill one of the open slots in the starting rotation. Aroldis Chapman, Burke Badenhop, Jose Mijares and Nick Travieso will pitch against the Angels. … Andrew Heaney, David Holmberg will start at Colorado.
Mariners: Happ was acquired in a trade from Toronto for Michael Saunders. “I was excited to get back out there,” Happ said. “I’m continuing to build arm strength. I was up in the zone with some cutters. I just need to work on my release point and be more consistent.”
Reds: Marquis has pitched five scoreless innings this spring. “It was a real improvement over the last time,” Marquis said. “I would have liked to work from the stretch but I’m competing for a job. I’ll take this type of outing 32 times in the season.”
Mariners 2B Robinson Cano left camp Sunday morning to be with his family after the death of his grandfather.