Ace yields one hit over two scoreless frames while closer fans side
By Jordan Bastian and Mark Sheldon
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Yan Gomes enjoyed a breakout season last year, working through his first full season as the Indians' starting catcher and earning a Silver Slugger Award for his showing at the plate. In a 9-3 Cactus League victory over the Reds on Thursday, Gomes picked up right where he left off.
It was Gomes who launched a two-run home run in the fifth inning off Cincinnati reliever Burke Badenhop, who was making his first appearance of the spring, to cap Cleveland's five-run outburst.
Prior to Gomes' blast, a pair of singles by the Indians and an error by Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez loaded the bases.
The first Tribe run scored on a Michael Martinez groundout to first base, but Jose Ramirez broke the inning open with a two-run single. That set the stage for Gomes, who hit a 0-1 Badenhop pitch over the fence in left-center field.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Also picking up where he left off: Reds ace Johnny Cueto had a relatively smooth spring debut with 25 pitches thrown with one hit and two strikeouts over two scoreless innings. Cueto, last season's National League Cy Young Award runner up, retired his first five batters in a row before David Murphy's single to right field. Murphy advanced on a Cueto balk.
Bauer outage:Trevor Bauer logged three innings in his first Cactus League start, finishing with one unearned run allowed on three hits. While Bauer worked through an assortment of his pitches, he focused on his two-seam fastball.
"It was nice to be in a game situation again," said Bauer. "In live BP and bullpen [sessions], the adrenaline isn't quite there and you never quite know how things are going to turn out when your adrenaline is there and you have a defense behind you and in a stadium. I was pleased with it."
Zimmer time: Outfielder Bradley Zimmer, who was selected by Cleveland in the first round (21st overall) in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, connected for an RBI triple in the seventh inning in his Cactus League debut. The 22-year-old also drew a walk in the sixth inning and played center field.
"I actually worked today with location. Everything I threw, I wanted to keep it down, and that's what I did today. Everything worked the way, flowed the way I wanted." -- Cueto reflecting on his first outing
"I think you're seeing more of a comfort level with him. If you ever have a chance to look in the dugout -- like when he's not pitching -- when we score, he's the first one up. Little things like that will tell you about if a guy cares about winning. I think he's situated to have a really good year." -- Indians manager Terry Francona, on Bauer being a rotation lock
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• In pregame ceremonies, Reds infielder Kristopher Negron received a trophy for being last year's Most Outstanding Player in the regular season Ohio Cup series won by the Reds, 3-1. In his three games, Negron batted .538 (7-for-13) with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs.
• In an eight-inning "B" game that took place at the Reds' complex Thursday morning, the Indians took a 7-4 victory over the Reds. Carlos Moncrief went 3-for-3 with a home run and a walk for Cleveland. He has reached base in all eight of his plate appearances thus far in spring. Cincinnati outfield prospect Juan Duran hit a second-inning home run.
An important spring campaign begins for lefty Tony Cingrani on Friday when he makes his Cactus League debut vs. the Cubs at 3:05 p.m. ET. Cingrani will be trying to prove his 2014 shoulder issues are behind him and also perform well enough to earn one of the two open Cincinnati rotation spots. Another candidate, Paul Maholm, is also slated to pitch. New ace Jon Lester is scheduled to start for the Cubs.