Johnny Cueto started and pitched well. Over three innings, he allowed one run on one hit and struck out four.
Overall, the pitching wasn’t as bad as the 7-spot makes it look. The defense committed 3 errors, contributing to 4 unearned runs. Manny Parra and Clay Hensley took the brunt of that in their relief appearances, combining to give up 6 runs, only 2 of which were earned.
As for the scoring, the Reds took an early lead, thanks to a Zack Cozart solo home run in the first. The offense was largely silent until the seventh, when Henry Rodriguez knocked in a run.
The real excitement, though, came before the game began. Dusty Baker and Kirk Gibson, the Diamondbacks manager, had a disagreement about the usage of the designated hitter.
“He wanted his pitcher to hit and I wanted Choo to DH,” Baker said following a 7-2 Reds loss. “They sent over word that’s what they wanted to do. It would have been fine with me to do both. It’s up to the home team of what they want to do. Usually here we let teams DH early.”
Apparently, Gibson wasn’t having any of that. It was National League rules all the way.
At the exchange of lineup cards, there were some words between the two managers. Gibson offered to shake hands, but Baker refused.
“We didn’t have a very pleasant encounter at home plate,” Baker said. “That’s how it goes. It’s over.”
The result? Choo didn’t start and Cesar Izturis was moved to the leaf-off position. Cueto batted in the third inning, but struck out looking because he was forbidden to swing the bat.
Such drama for a Spring Training game.
Today, the Reds will play the Angels at 3:05pm EST.