Cincinnati Reds Fall 3-2 in Joey Votto’s Return


. 2. 61. 3. 7

W: Louis Coleman (1-0)    L: J.J. Hoover (0-1)   SV: Jandel Gustave (1)

Cincinnati Reds fans can breathe a sigh of relief. For the first time in 245 days, Joey Votto was back in the lineup for the Reds on Saturday, batting second against the Kansas City Royals, and going 1-for-2. The reigning AL Champions spoiled Votto’s return, however, winning 3-2 over the Reds.

Royals’ pitching shut down the Reds for the first four innings as starter Danny DuffyGreg Holland — who struck out the side in the third — and Wade Davis only allowed one person to reach base. That person was (who else?) Votto, who singled off of Davis in the top of the fourth inning.

For the Reds, Mike Leake pitched for the first time this spring, tossing two perfect innings and striking out three.

Kevin Gregg made his second appearance of the spring in the bottom of the third and gave up a run after an Erik Kratz double was followed by a Christian Colon single to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.

The Reds got on the board in the top of the fifth with Brennan Boesch‘s second home run in as many days to tie the game at one. Boesch is certainly drawing some attention for his play thus far, as he’s batting .500 (4-for-8) with 2 home runs and 5 runs batted in. If he continues to hit like this, he’s got a great shot at landing a spot on the Reds’ bench.

After an impressive debut on Tuesday, J.J. Hoover came on in bottom of the fifth and gave up a solo home run to new Royals outfielder Alex Rios to make the score 2-1. Hoover was tagged with the loss.

The Royals extended their lead in the sixth inning off of Nathan Adcock. Adcock retired the first two Royals hitters, but gave up a two-out solo home run to outfielder Paulo Orlando, stretching Kansas City’s lead to 3-1.

The Reds got a little closer in the seventh. Jason Bourgeois hit a one-out single, followed by Josh Satin‘s first hit of the spring. Bourgeois moved up to third when Satin was caught stealing (the Reds are now an abysmal 0-for-5 on stolen base attempts this spring) and scored on a single by Chad Wallach, who was 2-for-2 on the day. That put the score at 3-2, where it would stay for the remainder of the game.

Other Notes:

  • Also pitching for the Reds were Sam LeCure, Jumbo Diaz, and Matt Magill, who all threw scoreless innings.
  • Former University of Louisville player Chris Dominguez is off to a solid start this spring. So far, he’s batting .625 (5-for-8) with two doubles and two RBIs.

The full box score from today’s game can be found here.

The Reds (2-3) return to Goodyear tomorrow to take on the Seattle Mariners at 4:05 p.m. EST. Jason Marquis will make his second start of the spring for the Reds and lefty J.A. Happ will oppose him for Seattle.