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Efficient Freeland makes impression vs. Reds

MLB.com @m_sheldon and @harding_at_mlb

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It was a nice showing on Friday night for one of the Rockies' top prospects, lefty pitcher and Denver native Kyle Freeland, who earned the victory with three scoreless innings as the Rockies topped the Reds, 5-4, at Goodyear Ballpark.

"I felt like I was rolling, and I was in the groove from the get-go," said Freeland, who struck out two and erased leadoff singles in the fourth and fifth with double-play grounders -- while being cheered on from a vocal contingent of high school buddies who made the trip.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It was a nice showing on Friday night for one of the Rockies' top prospects, lefty pitcher and Denver native Kyle Freeland, who earned the victory with three scoreless innings as the Rockies topped the Reds, 5-4, at Goodyear Ballpark.

"I felt like I was rolling, and I was in the groove from the get-go," said Freeland, who struck out two and erased leadoff singles in the fourth and fifth with double-play grounders -- while being cheered on from a vocal contingent of high school buddies who made the trip.

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Colorado took its lead with two runs in the sixth inning against Lisalverto Bonilla when Raimel Tapia and Dustin Garneau each hit RBI doubles. Bonilla is vying for a spot in the Cincinnati rotation.

Reds starter and rotation candidate Cody Reed gave up two earned runs, two hits and one walk over three innings with four strikeouts. Reed, who allowed Jordan Patterson's two-run double in the first inning, was working on his changeup after coming up with a new grip during the offseason to maintain arm speed and be more deceptive.

"I threw my changeup more in three innings than I probably did in a whole game last year. That's really working for me," Reed said. "Just staying confident is really going to help me. That's what I did tonight."

With Chad Bettis out (chemotherapy) and Chris Rusin still two weeks from throwing because of an oblique injury, Freeland was so efficient he had to go to the bullpen to throw 15 more pitches to meet his assigned total, while righty German Marquez was not as effective in his bid.

Marquez started and allowed four runs (one earned) and three hits over 2 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Marquez wild-pitched a run home and threw away two pickoff moves. But he finished with a strikeout of Ryan Raburn and didn't let the game spin out of hand.

"That was good because I like to compete," Marquez said. "I like to keep the score close and keep my team in it."

Marquez went 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA in six games (three starts) last season, while Freeland -- drafted eighth overall in 2014 -- went a combined 11-10 with a 3.89 ERA in 162 innings at Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque.

A three-run Reds second inning included Jose Peraza reaching on a three-base error when Tapia in center field and right fielder Stephen Cardullo collided on a fly ball. After Tapia dropped the ball, two runs scored that gave Cincinnati a 3-2 lead.

A third-inning collision between Patterson and first baseman Ryan Raburn would force Raburn to exit early from the game after three innings after taking a knee to the head. Raburn, who still batted in the bottom of the third, went back to the team complex to be evaluated. His injury status was not immediately known.

Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias pitched two innings with one earned run and two hits and two strikeouts.

Rockies Up Next: Righty Tyler Chatwood will start for the Rockies, and will be followed by all bullpen mainstays and hopefuls -- Adam Ottavino, Scott Oberg, Miguel Castro, Shane Carle and Mike Dunn -- at Mesa, Ariz., against the defending World Series champion Cubs at 1:05 p.m. MT.

Reds Up Next: For the first time this spring, the Reds will be engaged in split-squad action on Saturday -- both road games. At 3:05 p.m. ET in Peoria, Joey Votto and Jose Peraza will be in the lineup vs. the Mariners as Brandon Finnegan starts on the mound. At 3:10 p.m. in Scottsdale against the Giants, Billy Hamilton will play with Scott Feldman starting. In this game, 2016 No. 2 overall Draft pick Nick Senzel is expected to see action in a cameo from the Minor League camp. .

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies