2013 Spring Training Game #2: Indians 13, Reds 10
Not a day has gone by since pitchers and catchers reported that I didn’t wish I was in Arizona. Today was no different as the Indians took on the Cincinnati Reds at their shared ballpark in Goodyear. The two played another offensive marathon as the Tribe emerged victorious 13-10 to start their Cactus League campaign at 2-0.
Indians Lineup (2/23/2013):
The Tribe new-look lineup continued to perform as advertised scoring four runs in the first three innings before being relieved by lower level players. Catcher Carlos Santana and first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher had the day off with veteran first baseman/DH Jason Giambi batting cleanup in Swisher’s spot and Lou Marson catching for Santana batting 9th. Giambi drew a walk and came up just short of hitting a home run in two at-bats while Marson drew a walk and scored a run.
A failed pickoff attempt and fielding error by the Reds in the first inning opened the scoring for the Tribe. RBI singles by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall in the second rounded out the scoring in the first portion of the game. Left fielder Michael Brantley continued his hot streak, going 2-for-2 with a double and a single. In both spring training games combined so far, Brantley is a perfect 4-for-4. Jason Kipnis also got his first hit of the spring with a one-out single in the first.
The big story of the day was Ryan Raburn, who pinch-hit for Cord Phelps in the 7th. Raburn hit two home runs in his only two at-bats on Saturday afternoon. His first homer was a solo-shot, followed by a late-inning two-run blast. So far this spring, the former Detroit Tiger has been on fire, going 3-for-3 with three home runs. Raburn was signed to a minor league deal last month with a shot at making the starting roster as a utility infielder and outfielder. If he continues at this rate, that shouldn’t be a problem.
On the pitching side of the game for the Tribe, veteran starter Brett Myers got the nod for the Indians in Saturday’s game. Pitching two innings, Myers earned the win only allowed two runs (one earned) off of three hits while allowing a walk and striking out two. Myers was signed as a free agent to a one-year deal by Cleveland and will be in the starting rotation to start the year.
Closer Chris Perez also got his first taste of game action this spring pitching in the fourth inning. Perez allowed a hit, but held the Reds scoreless with a strikeout. Veteran reliever Matt Albers struggled in his first appearance with the Tribe allowing four runs on four hits. Young right-hander Bryan Shaw locked down the save with a shutout ninth inning including two strikeouts. Albers and Shaw came to the Tribe from Arizona as part of the Trevor Bauer trade.
While the significance of spring training games at this point is minimal, it’s hard not to enjoy a team that has won its first two spring training games by scoring 24 runs in both matchups combined. Seeing the hot bats of Ryan Raburn and Michael Brantley in action has also instilled a lot of confidence in the rejuvenated offense among Tribe faithful.
We shall see if that trend continues on Sunday as the Indians will be in split-squad effort against both the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark and on the road against the Brewers at Maryvale Ballpark. Between the two games, the Tribe will be sending starting rotation candidates Zach McAllister, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carlos Carrasco and Scott Kazmir to the mound. It's clear what the offense can do, but now it’s time to get a look at a potential opening day rotation.
Having fun yet, Cleveland?
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.