Cozart, Suarez spark Reds win
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Eugenio Suarez hit his second home run and Zack Cozart doubled in two as a Cincinnati Reds split squad beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-4 on Saturday.
Yan Gomes, Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana hit solo home runs off Tim Melville, who is penciled into the Reds’ starting rotation with several injuries creating an opportunity.
Napoli hit his fourth with two outs in the sixth. Santana followed with his second of the spring.
“I thought Napoli showed a real good piece of hitting,” Indians’ manager Terry Francona said. “He hit a pretty good fastball.”
Rajai Davis, who is a strong candidate for one or the Indians’ five outfielders, opened the game with a double.
Francisco Lindor and Marlon Byrd, a late entry into the outfield mix, doubled.
Melville is the first Reds’ pitcher to finish six innings this spring. He allowed four runs on seven hits, including three home runs.
“Melville mixed his pitches very well. He had a good curveball going today,” Reds’ pitching coach Mark Riggins said. “He stayed ahead in the count. The three homers accounted for three runs but other than that he had a good day. We got a good six innings out of him with a good pitch count.”
Carlos Carrasco allowed three runs in five innings for Cleveland.
Indians: Carlos Carrasco was stretched to five innings on Sunday. He will likely to make one more start before the season starts.
“Carlos’ breaking ball was better today. He’s going deeper into games and got a couple pitches up,” Francona said.
Reds: Melville is in position to not only make a major league roster on Opening Day but be in the starting rotation. Homer Bailey, John Lamb and Michael Lorenzen will not be active by the opener. Jon Moscot is pitching but hasn’t had time to build his pitch count.
“I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes,” Melville said. “I got some pitches up to real good hitters but I was still throwing a lot of strikes. I had a really good change-up. I didn’t have to use it a lot because there weren’t many lefties but I got a strikeout with one and a ground ball with one.”
Indians: Michael Brantley had his shoulder examined again. Brantley had soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder after appearing in two games. He will not play in a Cactus League game this week. … Lonnie Chisenhall’s tight right forearm was examined and he is not restricted from any baseball activities.
Reds: RHP Jon Moscot was slowed by a strained right rib cage. After completing Friday’s bullpen without pain, he will start Monday against Milwaukee.
Indians: RHP Cody Anderson will pitch against the Brewers.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan will start against the White Sox in Glendale.
The Indians told RHP Joba Chamberlain that he made the Opening Day roster. The team told LHP Tom Gorzelanny that he did not make the roster but invited him to stay with the team, if he can’t find a team that will put him on the major league roster. RHP Austin Adams, INF Erik Gonzalez, INF Giovanny Urshela and OF Joey Butler were optioned to Triple-A Columbus. C Adam Moore was re-assigned to minor league camp.