Indians get outpaced by Reds in Cactus League opener

Zach McAllister, who is in contention for the final spot in the rotation, went two innings and allowed a run on three hits with three strikeouts on Tuesday against the Reds.

John Locher

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — When a manager cites a relief pitcher backing up on a play during the eighth inning as one of the few things that went right, that should provide a pretty good indication of how the day went.

For the second straight year, the Indians fell to the Reds in the Cactus League opener at Goodyear Ballpark. The Indians were held to four hits while Cincinnati pounded out 15 en route to a 10-0 win on Tuesday.

The disparity in offense caused Terry Francona to say after the game that "it looked like we were working on pace of play when we were hitting. Hopefully, we can do better tomorrow."

Tuesday was the first time that teams got to work with the new pace of play rules. As expected when it comes to spring training, it went pretty smooth including a couple times when first pitch of an inning was thrown with 20 seconds remaining on the 2 minute, 25 second timer between innings.

A couple batters left the box when they weren’t supposed to but quickly jumped back in. Batters are supposed to keep at least one foot in the box unless there is contact with the ball. However since the first couple weeks of spring training features younger and non-roster players, it shouldn’t be a factor.

"Guys were hustling in and out which you are going to see with younger players. They are used to it and being out there," Francona said.

FIELDER’S ROLL CALL: SS Jose Ramirez/Ryan Rohlinger; C Yan Gomes/Brett Hayes/Tony Wolters; 3B Lonnie Chisenhall/Michael Martinez; 1B Carlos Santana/Jerry Sands; RF David Murphy/Carlos Moncrief; 2B Mike Aviles/Audy Ciriaco; DH Tyler Holt/Giovanny Urshela; LF James Ramsey/Destin Hood; CF Tyler Naquin/Jordan Smith.

STARTERS REPORT: Zach McAllister, who is in contention for the final spot in the rotation, went two innings and allowed a run on three hits with three strikeouts. McAllister faced nine batters and threw 33 pitches with 24 being strikes. The right-hander is scheduled to throw three innings on Saturday against the Dodgers.

"I thought he was pretty good," Francona said. "He was down in the zone, had good arm strength and used all of his pitches."

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OTHER PITCHERS: The only Tribe pitcher who didn’t give up a run was Nick Hagadone, who retired the Reds in order in the third. Other than that, it was a rough day. Charles Brewer, who was claimed on waivers from the Diamondbacks in November, allowed four runs on four hits in working the fourth and fifth and Bryan Price gave up four runs and three hits in the sixth. Dustin Molleken and Michael Roth each allowed a run in the inning they worked.

Francona lauded Roth for backing up the plate in the eighth when Jordan Smith’s throw went offline. That saved at least two runs as the left-hander was able to get out of the inning.

"On a day when we didn’t do a lot well, that is something we did that was good," said Francona of Roth’s play.

TUESDAY’S STANDOUTS: Aviles and Hood each had a hit and also made good plays with their gloves.

Aviles got the Tribe’s first hit with a two-out single in the fourth. In the second he tagged Zack Cozart on an attempted steal after a nice throw from Gomes.

Hood robbed Devin Mesoraco of an extra-base hit in the fifth with a great catch at the wall and then singled in the ninth.

RAPID FIRE: The quick-paced infield fielding drills showed some benefits early as Ramirez quickly fielded a Billy Hamilton grounder and threw out the speedy Reds’ center fielder for the first out of the game.

"When Billy Hamilton hits it, you better get rid of it," Francona said.

ALSO OF NOTE: Reigning Cy Young winner Corey Kluber threw two innings in a simulated game during morning workouts. Kluber’s next outing will be when he starts Saturday’s game against the Dodgers.

UP NEXT: The two teams meet again on Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. and will be aired on SportsTime Ohio. Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians and Anthony DeSciafani for the Reds. Tomlin and T.J. House are both expected to work two innings.