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Reds 7, Royals 5

March 6, 1997

HAINES CITY, Fla. (AP) _ Chad Mottola’s two-out double broke a tie in the eighth inning, and Jeff Brantley continued his near-perfect relief as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Kansas City Royals 7-5 Thursday.

Brantley got the save by retiring the Royals in order in the ninth. He has retired 12 of the 13 batters he has faced this spring. Brantley, who had 44 saves last year, has two in four appearances this spring.

Mottola’s eighth-inning double off loser Brian Bevel scored Brian Hunter. Curtis Goodwin added a run-scoring single in the ninth.

Former Royals left-hander Billy Brewer got the win.

Left-hander Kent Mercker, making his second start, held the Royals to two hits and struck out four in four shutout innings before Kansas City rallied to tie game with a run in fifth and two in each of the sixth and seventh innings.

Kevin Appier made his first appearance for the Royals, pitching two shutout innings.

Mike Kelly had a two-run double for the Reds in the fourth, and Hal Morris an RBI single in the fifth.

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