GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Albert Pujols singled twice and drove in a pair of runs off Anthony DeSclafani — a leading candidate for Cincinnati’s rotation — before the split-squad Reds rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
Pujols singled home a pair of runs during a three-run third inning off DeSclafani, who gave up five hits, a walk and three runs in three innings. The Reds got DeSclafani from Miami as part of the trade for starter Mat Latos in the offseason and are counting on him to win one of the two open spots in the rotation.
Joey Votto walked and struck out in two plate appearances during his second start of the spring. Votto missed most of last season because of strained muscles above his left knee, and the Reds are being cautious with him during spring training.
Juan Duran hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Ryan Mattheus. The 23-year-old Duran signed with the Reds in 2008.
“Anytime you get young players coming off the bench, it is fun to watch,” Reds bench coach Jay Bell said. “They are another year older, and you can see the difference.”
Nick Tropeano gave up back-to-back home runs to Kyle Skipworth and Jason Bourgeois in the fifth inning.
“Nick has terrific stuff,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He just missed, and they hit it a long way.”
Angels starter Andrew Heaney allowed a run in the first inning. He gave up a hit and a pair of walks in three innings.
“Heaney has a lot of life on his fastball,” Scioscia said. “It will take him a little time. He’s not locked in yet.”
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards will throw a second batting practice session on Tuesday. Richards, recovering from a knee operation, won’t be ready to start the season.
Reds: Devin Mesoraco will be limited to cardiovascular workouts until he has been cleared by the team’s medical staff. Mesoraco has a mild concussion, sustained when he took a foul tip off his mask on Saturday. Billy Hamilton won’t play until at least Wednesday because of a sore right shoulder.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago will make his second start against the Rangers’ Yovani Gallardo on Tuesday.
Reds: RHP Johnny Cueto will make his second start against the Brewers’ Kyle Lohse on Tuesday.
Angels: Heaney, traded from the Marlins to the Dodgers and then to the Angels, was excited to make his first appearance with his new team.
“I was amped up,” he said. “No matter how much live batting practice you throw, it’s not the same as when you get an umpire, fans and opposing hitters out there.”
Reds: DeSclafani pitched three innings in his second start. Pujols’ bases loaded single drove in a pair of runs.
“I was happy with it,” DeSclafani said. “The pitch to Pujols was a little up. It needed to be in a little more, and he might have rolled into a double play. I felt like I made good pitches. Some ground balls found holes.”
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman pitched two scoreless innings.
“It was planned,” Bell said. “We wanted to stretch him out a little.”
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