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Lorenzen impressive in bid for rotation spot

Williams struck by foul ball in dugout; Reed struggles in outing
MLB.com

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As he tries to return to the rotation, following two-plus seasons as a reliever for the Reds, pitcher Michael Lorenzen was pleased with his first spring start.

As the Reds took an 11-4 loss to the Rockies on Saturday, Lorenzen pitched two innings with one earned run, two hits, no walks and three strikeouts.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As he tries to return to the rotation, following two-plus seasons as a reliever for the Reds, pitcher Michael Lorenzen was pleased with his first spring start.

As the Reds took an 11-4 loss to the Rockies on Saturday, Lorenzen pitched two innings with one earned run, two hits, no walks and three strikeouts.

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"It felt great," Lorenzen said. "A lot of weak contact, tons of ground balls, ground-ball outs and strikeouts. That's what I'm looking for, especially at Great American Ball Park. I threw everything that I have to offer. Everything felt crisp, good."

Lorenzen threw all of his pitches -- the four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, changeup, and sinker. Following a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, he encountered some trouble in the second inning. A bloop double to left-center field by Jordan Patterson put a runner on, and he scored on a strikeout-wild pitch in the dirt to Tom Murphy.

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A throwing error by catcher Devin Mesoraco allowed the run to score. A Brian Mundell single to center field accounted for the other hit.

"The only thing that I'm going to go into my next bullpen is fastball command and just getting the timing down," Lorenzen said. "It's all timing and sequencing. It's going to get a lot more crisp."

Especially for his first game of spring, Reds manager Bryan Price felt Lorenzen was sharp.

"I thought he threw the ball really well. I was really pleased with the way he threw. He had a nice mix of pitches."

Williams struck by foul ball
There was a scary moment in the Reds dugout when outfielder Mason Williams was struck by a Phillip Ervin foul ball in the fourth inning. Williams, a non-roster invite, spent several moments lying on the dugout floor while being tended to by team trainers.

After several moments, Williams was able to sit on the bench and was later able to walk to a cart and be taken off of the field. He was holding a towel over his mouth.

"He got a cut across his chin or cheek," Price said after the game. "He may need a stitch or two. I'm hoping that's all it is."

Reed takes some lumps
Reds pitcher and bullpen candidate Cody Reed took the loss on Saturday after he replaced Lorenzen. Reed gave up four earned runs and five hits over two innings with no walks and two strikeouts. Nolan Arenado slugged a third-inning solo homer before three Colorado hits and three more runs came in the fourth.

"He got hit. You can live with that," Price said. "Last year, he struggled a bit with his command. Today, he was on the plate with his full assortment of pitches. Things will get better for him."

Siri suffered thumb injury
The news was not good for Reds outfielder and No. 22 prospect Jose Siri. On Saturday, Price noted that Siri injured the ligaments in his left thumb during Friday's game against Cleveland. He crashed into the wall during the eighth inning trying to catch a fly ball and had to leave the game.

"He'll be immobilized for some time," Price said. "We don't know how long. But he won't be in the lineup in the near future."

Video: CIN@CLE: Siri leaves with injury after collision

Price was disappointed for Siri, the organization's hitter of the year in the Minors last season at Class A Dayton, because he wanted to see him play.

"Now is the opportunity I'd have and the staff would have to see him perform," Price said. "I love the effort going out there and trying to run that ball down out there in center. He ends up trying to make a tough play on the fence."

Up next
In split-squad games that both begin at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, the Reds will host the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark on MLB.TV. Homer Bailey will make his spring debut against Trevor Bauer. At Glendale, the other group will face the White Sox with Luis Castillo facing Jordan Guerrero

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Michael Lorenzen