Reds hit 4 HRs, beat Mariners 6-2
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP)—Chris Heisey(notes) had a pinch-hit, two-run homer—the first of four off left-hander Jason Vargas(notes)—and the Cincinnati Reds powered their way to a 6-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners, who lost outfielder Milton Bradley(notes) to another ejection.
Bradley was thrown out by plate umpire Jon Merry in the fourth inning for tossing his bat after taking a called third strike. It was his second ejection in three days.
Bradley also was kicked out in the third inning of an 8-1 loss to Texas on Wednesday, when he took a called third strike, put his bat down and stayed in the box until plate umpire Dan Bellino ejected him.
The Cubs traded Bradley to the Mariners last December for pitcher Carlos Silva(notes) after another season of outbursts. Bradley was suspended for one game last season for arguing a called third strike, and was sent home early from a game after he attacked a water cooler after popping out. Chicago suspended him for the final two weeks of the season after he criticized the atmosphere surrounding the team.
In his first at-bat, Bradley had an RBI double off Aaron Harang(notes), who had his best performance of the spring. The right-hander, who will pitch the Reds’ season opener, allowed six hits and one run in five innings, striking out six.
“I’m ahead of where I’ve been in past springs,” Harang said. “I threw about 60 (pitches) tonight. Next I’ll throw 90, then 100. I’m excited about how this team is playing.”
Heisey, the Reds’ minor league player of the year in 2009, connected in the fifth off Vargas, who gave up seven hits and six runs in five innings of relief. Drew Stubbs(notes) had an inside-the-park homer, and Scott Rolen(notes) and Laynce Nix(notes) also homered off Vargas, who is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Vargas made 14 starts and nine relief appearance for the Mariners last season, going 3-6. He came into the game in the first inning after Joey Votto’s(notes) line drive caromed off the right forearm of starter Doug Fister(notes), who was called up on Aug. 8 last season.
“There is a little discomfort, but it looks worse than it feels,” said Fister, who expects to get precautionary X-rays. “I’m not sure what’s in store. It’s a little stiff but that’s about it.
“It’s frustrating. We work out all offseason to prevent injuries, but this is something you can’t control,” he said.
Stubbs, who has the inside track on the starting job in center, went 3 for 3. He was batting .100 heading into this week, but has gone 6 for 9 in the last three games with four extra-base hits.
NOTES: The Reds optioned RHP Enerio Del Rosario, RHP Sam LeCure, 2B Chris Valaika and LHP Pedro Viola(notes) to Triple-A Louisville. C Devin Mesoraco was assigned to Louisville. … The Reds allowed the pitcher to bat for the first time this spring. … Mariners OF Ken Griffey Jr.(notes) did not make the trip to face the Reds, his former team. … Vargas had not allowed a run in 8 2-3 innings coming into the game.