Reds 9, Brewers 8
Edinson Volquez is hoping his opening-day start goes a lot better than this one.
''It's nothing but mechanical,'' he said.
The right-hander allowed five runs and one hit in 2 1-3 innings, striking out three. He is scheduled to face Milwaukee at home on March 31 in the opener.
Brewers starter Chris Narveson also had a rough day, yielding seven runs and nine hits over 4 1-3 innings against a lineup consisting almost completely of reserves.
Narveson has yielded 11 runs and 15 hits in nine innings over his past two starts.
''It's all his pitches,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ''He's not throwing it where he wants to. In spring training, the last thing all these pitchers lock in on is where is their command.''
Volquez cruised through the first two innings, allowing only a four-pitch walk to Mark Kotsay. But he issued a leadoff walk to Zelous Wheeler in the third before striking out Narveson. Then he gave up his only hit - a looping liner to right off the top of Chris Valaika's glove - and walked Craig Counsell, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to end his abbreviated outing.
''Everything was great and then he fell behind Counsell,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''That was really when he got in trouble.''
Baker said Volquez went to the bullpen to reach his 85-pitch target for the day.
George Kotteras hit a three-run homer off Reds reliever Dontrelle Willis in the fifth.
NOTES: Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, bothered by right forearm tightness, flew back to Cincinnati to be examined by team medical director Tim Kremchek on Monday. ... Justin Freeman came on in relief of Volquez and issued two more walks, giving the Brewers six walks in the inning en route to a final total of 11. ... Baker started only two regulars against the Brewers, Volquez and catcher Ramon Hernandez. Cincinnati's regulars had played nearly seven innings each of the past two days. ... Roenicke said RHP Mark DiFelice, who was hit on the pitching hand by a line drive on Saturday, is fine and will pitch again Monday or Tuesday. ... The pin in Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy's broken right pinkie is scheduled to come out on Monday.