Recap: Reds Outlast A's 7-6 in Goodyear
Brandon Phillips' long 2-run HR in the bottom of the 7th, off of Josh Lindbloom, broke a 5-5 tie and the Reds held off an Oakland teAse in the 9th to beat the A's 7-6.
Staked to an early 2-0 lead, Sonny Gray surrendered 6 hits and 5 runs (3 earned) in 3+ innings. Billy Hamilton won the "battle of the blazing Billys" with 2 hits and 2 SBs as Burns went 0 for 4 and was picked off 1B by lefty Tony Cingrani.
Yoenis Cespedes did draw his first walk of the spring, but his 0 for 2 left his Cactus League batting average at .111. Josh Donaldson left the game with "tightness in his right calf" but no other A's were reported to be the worse for wear.
Top of the order to ya! I know, St. Patty's Day isn't until tomorrow but seriously, check out the top of the order! It's the "should-be-famous" matchup of Billy Burns and Billy Hamilton as the A's take on the Reds in Goodyear. It should be a fast game; I just don't know how long it will take.
The pitching matchup today features Sonny Gray against the LHP Tony Cingrani, who I'm pretty sure was one of the characters in The Sopranos. As for Gray, he is right on track to pitch on 3/21, 3/26, and 3/31 -- the last one being Opening Day. Gray's up-and-down performance so far this spring mostly reflects that he has dedicated some outings to refining his changeup.
The A's lineup today is a blend of March 31st big leaguers, March 31st hopefuls, and impending cuts. Meanwhile, a bee the size of Wisconsin is whizzing back and forth by my computer trying to sting and/or kill me, so I think I'll wrap this up. Update: Never mind, I think I just killed it in self-defense. I give my actions a bee-minus.
OK, here's the lineup: