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Baker says Reds' Latos looks ready to open '13
, Associated Press
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 11:00 AM
GOODYEAR, Ariz. - The Reds' Mat Latos allowed one run in four innings and the Dodgers' Josh Beckett gave up his first run of the spring in Cincinnati's 6-2 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Latos allowed hits to the first two batters of the game. Dee Gordon started the game with a single and stole second. Mark Ellis singled Gordon home.
"I'm not where I need to be," said Latos, who struck out six. "I seem to struggle in the first inning for some stupid reason. I need to attack the strike zone more. I give the hitters too much credit. My changeup is coming around though and my slider is really good."
His manager was more pleased with his effort than Latos himself.
"Latos looked great," Baker said. "Sometimes he's hard on himself."
Beckett, coming off a disappointing 2012 season, gave up a home run to Shin-Soo Choo, but only one other hit and two walks in 4 1-3 innings.
"I got some early contact," Beckett said. "I gave up the home run on a curve that just kept spinning. I was better in innings 2, 3, 4, but I started to fly open in the fifth. They told me I only had 12 pitches left so I tried to get quick outs."
Dodger manager Don Mattingly was also less critical of his starter, who had pitched seven straight scoreless innings before the home run.
"Beckett was really good," Mattingly said. "He seems sharper now. Maybe it was the time off, but he looks good."
It was Choo's first home run of the spring.
Ted Lilly, who is in competition to regain a spot in the Dodgers rotation, allowed a run-scoring triple to Donald Lutz to score former Dodger Xavier Paul.
Devin Mesoraco, competing for the job as backup catcher, broke the game open with a three-run double off Lilly.
The Reds loaded the bases against Lilly with one out. Lutz hit a one hopper to first baseman Scott Van Slyke. The home plate umpire ruled that catcher Matt Wallach was off home plate as he took the throw.
"I thought Ted was all right," Mattingly said. "I thought he got out of that jam in the eighth. The throw wasn't bad, but they ruled the catcher was never on the plate. There was no reason for him to come off.
Mesoraco delivered with two outs, something the Reds have done too seldom according to Baker.
"That was a key two-out hit," Baker said. "It's been epidemic in baseball. We're not the only ones. It seems there aren't a lot of two-out hits."
Lilly allowed five runs, two earned, in 2 2-3 innings.
NOTES: The Reds optioned LHP Tony Cingrani and RHP Daniel Corcino to Triple-A Louisville. RHP Kyle Lotzkar and RHP Josh Ravin were optioned to Double-A Pensacola. Carlos Contreras and OF Yorman Rodriguez were optioned to high A Bakersfield. LHP Ismael Guillon was optioned to low A Dayton. RHP Nick Christiani, RHP Chad Rogers, C Nevin Ashley, IF Kristopher Negron and OF Ryan LaMarre were reassigned to minor league camp. ... Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake faced each other in a minor league game on the team's off day Monday. They both pitched three scoreless innings. ... Reds' starting pitchers have not allowed a home run in 35 2-3 innings.
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