Leake gets work in as Reds fall to split-squad Rox
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Brett Anderson put aside some early struggles to toss five solid innings and earn the victory,as a split Rockies squad topped the Reds, 3-2, on Wednesday afternoon.
Anderson, who was acquired from Oakland during the offseason, allowed four hits and a run over the first two frames. But he finished his day by retiring nine of 10, including the last seven. In three starts this spring, Anderson has posted a 1.80 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP.
"I had right at 40 [pitches] through four, and I don't know what I finished, a little over 50," Anderson said. "It was pretty efficient. I got a bunch of ground balls. It seems like every at-bat was either a six-pitch at-bat, and then I'd have three or four in a row of two, one, two. I was able to keep my pitch count down."
Opposite Anderson, Reds starter Mike Leake was efficient over his three scheduled innings, allowing a run on three hits. But his third-inning walk snapped a streak of 15 2/3 innings in which Reds starters did not walk a batter.
"It wasn't my best, it wasn't the worst," said Leake, who was making his second start this spring after recovering from an abdominal injury that forced him to miss his first outing. "I could have been down in the zone a little bit better and mixed up [pitches]. It ended up being all right, but there's stuff to work on."
The Reds got on the board in the top of the second inning, when Chris Heisey led off the frame with a double and scored on a short sacrifice fly off the bat of Devin Mesoraco. Rockies first baseman Matt McBride cut off the throw from right fielder Michael Cuddyer on what appeared destined to be a close play at the plate.
But the Rockies tied the game an inning later, when Charlie Culberson laced a two-out RBI double down the left-field line. Culberson finished the day 2-for-3, as did Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario.
After a fifth-inning run put the Rockies on top, McBride came through at the plate in the sixth, scoring Rosario with a single to left.
The Reds made it interesting in the ninth, loading the bases and scoring one run on four straight walks issued by Rockies lefty Tyler Matzek, but Mike McClendon came on to record the final three outs to preserve the win.
For the Reds, Heisey continued his hot spring, going 2-for-3 with a run. He is now hitting .370 in Cactus League play. Left fielder Ryan Ludwick also had two hits.
Up next: Alfredo Simon takes the ball for the Reds against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch at 4:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, live on MLB.TV and in an exclusive webcast at reds.com. In three starts this spring, Simon has allowed five runs on five hits over nine innings. Pedro Beato, Trevor Bell and Jumbo Diaz also are slated to throw. Offensively, third baseman Jack Hannahan will likely make his spring debut with a pinch-hit appearance.