Ryan Raburn homers off Bailey in spring debut
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Ryan Raburn hit a two-run home run off Homer Bailey to lead the Cleveland Indians to its second straight win over the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0 Friday.
Lonnie Chisenhall, who is trying to hold on to the starting third base job in Cleveland, walked to set up Raburn’s second-inning drive off Bailey, who tossed his second career no-hitter last season.
Indians likely closer Jon Axford walked one and struck out two in a scoreless inning.
Cleveland’s competition for the No. 5 starter’s role is picking up. Josh Tomlin followed Carlos Carrasco’s sharp outing Thursday with a solid appearance of his own Friday — two hits and two strikeouts in two innings.
“The way Carrasco pitched yesterday and Tomlin today, I hope we have a tough decision by the end of spring,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Trevor Bauer and Aaron Harang are also in the mix for the final spot in the Indians’ rotation.
Cleveland scored two runs off Robert Stephenson in his first major league spring appearance. Stephenson was the Reds first pick in the 2011 draft.
Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick hit consecutive singles in the fourth off Josh Tomlin for two of the Reds’ three hits.
Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman struck out all three batters he faced.
“One thing we do know. They are ready to go. We keep tabs on our guys and we had a pretty visual on Chappy (Chapman),” Reds first-year manager Bryan Price said. “It was an early spring game but I like the energy and the effort by our guys today.”
Indians: Zach McAllister pitched two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out one. He has already secured a spot in Cleveland’s rotation.
“He was as advertised,” Francona said. “I’m sure as the spring goes on he’ll be sharper but he was pretty good today.”
Reds: Bailey’s only hit allowed in two innings was Rayburn’s homer.
“I was off a little,” said Bailey who signed a six-year, $105 million contract February 20. “I threw two close pitches to when I walked the guy (Chisenhall). They were 2 inches off. During the season, I probably make those pitches.”
Reds: Reserve infielder Jack Hannahan had surgery to repair a torn labrum immediately after last season. He is hitting in the batting cage and building arm strength. ... Right-hander Mat Latos played long toss on Thursday and participated in pitcher’s drills that do not require him to cut and plant on his left knee that required meniscus surgery on February 14. ... Jonathan Broxton, who had right elbow surgery in August, has pitched two bullpens this spring, including a 25-pitch session on Thursday. He is playing catch every day and his throwing is being ramped up.
Indians: Right-hander Frank Herrmann, recovering from right elbow-reconstruction surgery, will throw a simulated game on Sunday.
IN THE MIX
Tomlin spent the first four months of 2013 recovering from right elbow-reconstruction surgery. But after pitching 29 1-3 innings for several teams in the Cleveland system, including two with the Indians, as part of his rehab.
“My arm feels good. That’s what I’m taking from this,” Tomlin said. “It’s been a while since I competed. I was around the zone. I was a little amped up to start with but after the first batter I settled in.”
ALL THE WAY FROM JAPAN
Nyjer Morgan played for Yokohama in Japan last season. Morgan enhanced his chances of sticking with the Indians by making a long-running diving catch of a line drive to the right-center gap, robbing Ramon Santiago of an extra base hit.
“Nyjer plays with a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” Francona said.