Reds, Indians tie 4-4
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Napoli singled twice and scored in his first exhibition game for the Cleveland Indians, who played to a 4-4, nine-inning tie with the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.
Napoli was signed as a free agent and is expected to share first base and DH duties with Carlos Santana this season. Napoli singled off Cody Reed and scored on a double by Jesus Aguilar.
Eugenio Suarez, who is moving from shortstop to third base for the Reds, doubled for the third time in two games.
“Eugenio is smart enough to know this is an opportunity for him to be an everyday big league player,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “It’s a selfless act on his part to change positions but it’s also a smart thing to do.”
Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez homered off Jumbo Diaz. Anthony Recker also homered off reliever Caleb Cotham, who came to the Reds in the trade for Aroldis Chapman. Ramirez is also moving to third base with the emergence of Francisco Lindor at shortstop.
“Ramirez put a good swing on it,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He had an even better day before the game started. He was diving for balls in drills. Sometimes the work before the game is more important than what you do in the game.”
Jake Cave, who is battling for a job in leftfield, singled in two at bats for the Reds. As a Rule 5 draft pick out of the New York Yankees system, he must be carried on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the Yankees. Cave has three hits in the Reds’ first two games.
Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout. He signed a minor league contract with the Indians in December.
NOT SO FAST
Reds speedster Billy Hamilton went 0 for 2. He will alternate between designated hitter and center field until his shoulder is 100 percent after surgery in September.
“There are days he feels fatigue consistent with his surgery,” Price said. “It is not a concern for opening day. On days he feels good, we’ll put him in center.”
Indians: Cody Anderson, challenging Josh Tomlin and T.J. House for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, pitched two perfect innings.
“Six up. Six down. You can’t get any better than that,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He was crisp. You can tell he put in a lot of work.”
Reds: Robert Stephenson, the team’s top draft choice in 2011, pitched two scoreless innings. The right-hander is in the mix for a spot in the rotation. He allowed a hit and a walk.
“My nerves go the best of me in the first inning,” Stephenson said. ‘I was able to get on top of the ball in the second inning. There is a lot of difference between starting a game and pitching the eighth or ninth like I did two years ago when I pitched in a game here.”
Indians: Recent free agent signees, Will Venable and Juan Uribe are easing into playing shape at the training complex until they are until they are far enough along in their progressions to play in games.
Reds: Homer Bailey and Raisel Iglesias threw 35-pitch bullpens in the morning. Iglesias will face batters later this week and pitch in game around the 10th.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar will start against the Reds. He will be followed by RHP Zach McAllister, RHP Bryan Shaw, LHP Joe Thatcher, RHP Will Roberts and RHP Shawn Armstrong.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani start vs. the Indians. RHP Layne Somsen, LHP Jonathan Sanchez, RHP Stephen Johnson, RHP J.J. Hoover, RHP Pedro Villarreal and RHP Sal Romano will follow for the Reds.
Indians manager Terry Francona said he thinks All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley might be back in the team’s lineup earlier than expected. Brantley is recovering from surgery on his right shoulder in November and was expected to miss at least the first portion of the season.
“I think the timetable early was late April, beginning of May,” Francona said. “I don’t think it’s going to be that long.”