LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Homer Bailey pitched three innings without problem, showing he has recovered from a groin injury, and the Cincinnati Reds ended their spring training schedule by losing to their Triple-A Louisville Bats team 1-0 on Saturday in a rain-shortened game.
The game was played in rain and got called in the middle of the sixth inning. It was the second straight day that Cincinnati’s pitching plans were affected by rain. An exhibition against minor leaguers in Pensacola, Fla., was rained out on Friday.
After a day off, Cincinnati opens the season at home on Monday against the defending NL champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Bailey became one of Cincinnati’s many concerns in Arizona, forced to miss time because of a groin strain. He gave up a run, a hit and a pair of walks.
Reds starter Mike Leake missed a turn to pitch when the game in Pensacola was rained out. He started for the Louisville Bats on Saturday and pitched six innings, giving up two hits and a walk. After the fifth inning, Leake stayed on the mound and pitched to a few extra batters to get in some work.
”The key today was that we needed Homer and Mike Leake to pitch,” first-hear manager Bryan Price said. ”Mission accomplished there. We really didn’t want to have to go out and play in this type of conditions, but we needed to play after missing yesterday’s game.”
Leake felt odd pitching against his teammates.
”When you’re facing your peers and your team, it’s not the same, obviously,” Leake said. ”It’s not going to be as competitive as if you’re facing somebody else or another team, but you still get something out of it.”
Price said after the game that catcher Tucker Barnhart, pitcher Trevor Bell, outfielder Roger Bernadina and infielder Neftali Soto will open the season with the club. Cincinnati likely will make its final roster moves on Sunday.
”We’ve talked to our players,” Price said. ”Everybody knows where they are going. Our roster, for all intents and purposes, is set.”
The Reds had a rough time with injuries in Arizona. Starter Mat Latos had surgery to repair knee cartilage on the day camp opened, and closer Aroldis Chapman was hit on the forehead with a line drive last week, sidelining him for at least the first month of the season.
Latos and Chapman are among eight Reds expected to open the season on the disabled list.
”It’d be great to be fully intact, but we’re not the only team that’s been affected by injuries,” Price said. ”Every team, typically throughout the course of the year, will be affected by injuries. All we can do is be optimistic going into the season. We know that we have the bulk of our team intact.”