The Reds visited the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers last night and brought them the unhappy hostess gift of a big, fat L as they extended their massive spring training winning streak to 2 with a 5-2 victory.
It was the battle of Twin-turned-Red Kyle Lohse versus Red-turned-Twin Ramón Ortiz, and having seen them both in action, I expected those first two innings to be a much more lopsided affair. Amazingly, Ortiz failed to commit any errors, while Lohse knocked Torii Hunter upside the head to knock himself out of the game two outs into the first. Hunter's OK, but Lohse doesn't look so hot with that earned run, two walks, and a HBP in 2/3 of an inning.
Brian “I'm Brian Meadows!” Meadows took over to complete the two innings that Lohse was supposed to work, and he fared better, allowing zero runs on just one hit. Mike Stanton and Bill Bray each worked a hitless inning to take us through the fourth.
Matt Belisle got the blown save and the win when he allowed the tying run in the fifth by virtue of the offense taking a two run lead in the top of the seventh. Hardly seems fair.
Elizardo Ramirez put in a couple scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth to set up Jason “You had to look up my first name, didn't you?” Kershner for the save in the ninth.
The pitching part of these wrap ups takes so long in spring training. It reminds me of when Ortiz used to pitch for the Reds.
In the other halves of the innings, the Reds came up with fewer home runs than the day before, and even fewer errors. The one homer came from little Edwin Encarnación in the fourth inning. The zero errors were a group effort.
Also knocking in runs were:
- Bubba Crosby, with two on a cheap shot, but who cares?
- Mark Bellhorn, who also had the distinction of a caught stealing
- Chad Moeller, whose guaranteed major league contract seems to be fitting in less and less as closers are signed and outfield prospects prove themselves
Latin Love Machine Javier Valentín started off behind the plate and contributed a walk and a strike out in his ABs. The Twins broadcasters I was listening to mentioned how the LLM came up with the Twins but hadn't been popular there because of some of his “mannerisms” on the field. Sounds pretty stupid to me. Their loss, I guess.
The win brings the Reds' spring training record to 2-0. The Twins return the favor by travelling to Sarasota today to pit Boof Bonser against Aaron Harang.