Votto's walk wins it; filling in for Cueto, Francis fans six, allows three runs
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Prince Fielder slugged his first home run since the first day of Cactus League games for the Rangers while Brandon Phillips went deep for the Reds. In the end, Cincinnati came away as 5-4 winners on Joey Votto's bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning Thursday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark.
Cincinnati was trailing, 4-2, in the seventh when Kris Negron hit a two-run triple off of the wall in left-center field against reliever Neal Cotts that scored Jay Bruce and Corky Miller and evened the game.
Texas had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first against Reds starter Jeff Francis, who filled in after Johnny Cueto was scratched with an irritation around his right scapula. Josh Wilson rolled a one-out double down the left-field line before Fielder walked and Adrian Beltre was hit by a pitch. Wilson scored on a single off of Francis' glove. Geovany Soto's single on the ground to left field added two more runs.
Beltre, who was playing for the first time in a week after he suffered a tight left quadriceps, also hit a leadoff double to left field in the third inning.
Francis finished with three runs and seven hits allowed over four innings. He walked one and struck out six.
"A lot of good things," manager Bryan Price said. "Nice to have the bullpen guys come in. I thought Francis threw the ball well with the exception of a couple of pitches. His slider got a lot better. The bullpen came in and did a real nice job. We know there are some opportunities in our bullpen right now. It was nice to see [Nick] Christiani come in and throw two nice innings there."
About the Reds playing their first game since closer Aroldis Chapman was hit in the face by a line drive, Price said: "I think in the end, we come out and sometimes baseball is a reprieve from other things that can weigh heavy in your heart. From experience, I know that. Sometimes when you come to the ballpark, it gives you an opportunity to take a break and fill your heads with something else for a few hours. The game maybe more than anything may have been a reprieve from the heaviness that's been around our club since [Wednesday] night."
In the bottom of the first inning against Robbie Ross, Ryan Ludwick hit an RBI single to right field.
Fielder made it a 4-1 game with he crushed a 1-1 pitch from reliever Sam LeCure for a booming solo homer to right-center field. His last homer came on Feb. 27 in his second spring at-bat.
Ross was still pitching in the Reds' sixth when Phillips hit a 0-1 pitch for a one-out homer to left field, his third of the season. In 5 2/3 innings, Ross allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Up next:Zack Cozart will likely return to the lineup Friday when the Reds meet the Royals again. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. ET at Goodyear Ballpark. Brett Marshall, who could find himself in the rotation amid injuries to the regular five, will fill in for the injured Homer Bailey and notch his fifth outing of the spring.