Rangers rout Reds behind Desmond, 3 HRs

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ian Desmond hit his first home run of spring for the Rangers as they handed the Reds a 11-5 defeat on Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark. Texas set a spring high for runs, team hits (18) and homers (three).

Rangers starter Chi Chi Gonzalez continued his bid to win the fifth starter spot by holding the Reds scoreless for three innings. Gonzalez now has pitched five scoreless frames over two outings. He allowed three hits and two walks, but the shortstop-second base combination of Jurickson Profar and Hanser Alberto turned two double plays behind him. Catcher Bobby Wilson also threw out Jose Peraza trying to steal in the first inning.

Box score

"I went to the sinker and it was moving a lot," Gonzalez said. "Even though I was falling behind, it still helped a lot."

Reds starter Tim Melville gave up two runs (one earned) over three innings with three hits, a walk and three strikeouts. Melville filled in on the start for Michael Lorenzen, who was scratched because of right elbow tenderness.

The Reds' only offense came in the ninth on a pair of two-run doubles from Blake Trahan and Bryson Smith -- both up from Minor League camp -- as well as an RBI two-bagger from Phillip Ervin, but they added a nice defensive play to the highlight reel in the first inning. Following former Cincinnati outfielder Shin-Soo Choo's leadoff walk, he tried to go from first to third base on Desmond's lined single to right. Right fielder Yorman Rodriguez threw a perfect strike to third base to get Choo easily.

Mitch Moreland went 1-for-3 for Texas with his first home run of the spring, a drive to right field on a full count off of Melville. Moreland has reached base in six of his past 12 plate appearances. Desmond, who was signed on Feb. 29 by Texas, made his fourth start in left field. His homer was driven to left field on a 1-0 pitch from reliever Blake Wood to make it a 3-0 game.

Wood, trying to earn a spot in the Reds' bullpen, gave up one run and two hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Fellow bullpen candidate Ryan Mattheus allowed four runs and six hits -- including a Drew Stubbs two-run homer in the seventh inning.

"No one here, outside of [J.J.] Hoover, is really afforded to think they've made the bullpen. I think that they all understand that," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "These guys are busting their tail not just to get their work in and their arms in Opening Day shape, but they're competing for jobs on the team. I don't think there is any shortage of effort. Sometimes, I do think it takes some time to settle in."

The Rangers added four runs and five hits in the ninth frame, including RBI doubles from Jared Hoying and Chris Gimenez. The last time the Reds allowed 18 hits in a Spring Training game was on April 1, 2012, in a 13-10 loss to the White Sox.

Reds Up Next: Brandon Finnegan will make his third spring appearance -- and second start -- when the Reds travel to Scottsdale to play the Rockies at 3:10 p.m. ET on Thursday. Finnegan, who is trying to earn a spot in the rotation, has tossed three scoreless innings with two hits and two strikeouts. Prospect Nick Travieso, who made his first appearance in a "B" game on Saturday, will also see action for Cincinnati.

Rangers Up Next: Right-hander Nick Martinez will start for Texas, followed by left-hander Cesar Ramos. Cole Hamels and Martin Perez are scheduled to pitch in a morning "B" game.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.