REDS (ss) 5, ASTROS 4
at Sarasota, Fla.
March 11, 2008
Reds at the plate: Only one regular notched a hit in the game. It was Ryan Freel, who hit a leadoff single in the top of the fourth. Freel was erased in a double play. Alvin Colina capped a five-run ninth-inning rally with a three-run walk-off double.
Astros at the plate:
Returning from a few days out with back spasms, Michael Bourn broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a first-pitch home run to right field. Two batters later, Hunter Pence sent a first-pitch homer over the left-field fence. In the fifth, Humberto Quintero laced an RBI single.
Reds on the mound:
Ace Aaron Harang went five innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits. Harang, who retired the first nine batters in a row, walked none and struck out two with two homers allowed. David Weathers worked one scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out one. Kent Mercker gave up a bunt single in his one scoreless inning.
Astros on the mound:
Starter Brandon Backe pitched four scoreless innings with one hit and one walk allowed. Backe, who struck out two, retired the first nine in a row as well. Wesley Wright pitched a perfect fifth inning in relief.
Grapefruit League records:
Reds 8-6; Astros 6-9.
The Reds head to Clearwater, Fla., to face the Phillies on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Bronson Arroyo, who had his previous start rained out, will pitch for Cincinnati against Fabio Castro. Rotation candidate Johnny Cueto is scheduled to pitch, and Bill Bray will make his debut after battling a sore left shoulder all spring.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.