The young phenom looks to turn in an even stronger start on Thursday when the Reds wrap up a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels in Cincinnati.
Bailey (1-0, 3.60 ERA) was the seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft, and on Friday, became the youngest Reds starter to make his debut since Milt Wilcox in 1970. The 21-year-old right-hander gave up two runs in five innings of a 4-3 home win over Cleveland.
“Everybody wanted to see him,” manager Jerry Narron said. “He’s got great stuff, and he made the pitches to get people out.”
Still, Bailey, who was brought up from Triple-A Louisville after left-hander Eric Milton tore up his elbow, threw only 63 of his 114 pitches for strikes. He said he’ll be less nervous in his second big league outing.
“There were a lot of things that went on in that last game,” Bailey said. “So this time, I’ll take it a little bit slower and get ahead of the hitters.”
Narron said he thinks Bailey needs some time to adjust to life in the majors.
“All I know is with any young player, there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs,” Narron said. “Being around this atmosphere, that’s going to help him. Over the year, there’s no question it will. Whether the second time it’s going to make that big of a difference, I can’t tell.”
Bailey will be looking to help the last-place Reds (26-40) bounce back from Wednesday’s 6-3 loss and earn the series victory. Scott Hatteberg homered for Cincinnati, which had won four of five before the defeat.
The Reds weren’t able to contain Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, who went 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs. Guerrero had gone 0-for-11 in his previous three games.
“After so many years, I’ve gone through 0-for-16s, 0-for-20s,” he said through a translator. “I know that if you do what you’re supposed to do, you’re going to get out of it.”
Los Angeles had lost its previous two games - a rarity for a team that is a major league-best 24-9 since May 9. Garret Anderson returned to the lineup after not starting the previous two games because of a stiff leg and singled home a run.
The Angels will send Bartolo Colon (5-2, 5.70) to the mound in the series finale.
The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner has been shaky in his last three outings, allowing 19 runs in 14 2-3 innings for an 0-2 record over that span. He gave up four runs and three homers in a season-low four innings of the Angels’ 10-6 win in St. Louis on Friday.
“His arm speed was great, the ball was coming out of his hand great,” manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels’ official Web site of Colon, who had not pitched since May 28 because of triceps tendinitis. “He was trying to get his two-seamer down and elevated it a bit. His command wasn’t as sharp.”
Colon won both of his previous starts against the Reds, both in Cincinnati, allowing just one run in 13 innings. However, he has not faced them since 2001 while with Cleveland.