Crisp, Barton Homer In A’s Win Over Reds
Leake allowed seven runs in his worst spring outing. He also gave up two doubles among six Oakland hits in 2 1-3 innings.
Leake made the Reds’ rotation by default when an MRI exam revealed inflammation in Johnny Cueto’s right shoulder.
“I felt a little too good today,” Leake said. “I was just missing a little bit. I don’t like to walk people. I was trying a little too hard.”
Leake made the jump from college baseball to the major leagues last year without pitching in the minors, but was competing with Homer Bailey and Travis Wood for two open spots in the rotation this season. Cueto’s injury cleared his way, but Leake doesn’t feel settled.
“There’s still going to be a decision when he comes back. When the season starts I still have to compete,” Leake said.
Brett Anderson, in line to be Oakland’s opening-night starter, gave up four runs and four hits in six innings. NL MVP Joey Votto and Jonny Gomes homered for the Reds.
Anderson was scheduled to start Monday, but rain forced cancellation of his outing against the Dodgers.
“I felt good,” Anderson said after his longest stint of the spring. “Joey Vott is the best hitter of all-time and I have to get it through my head that I can’t beat Jonny Gomes with fastballs inside. I felt good it’s the best lineup I’ve faced yet and to go through it three times felt good.”
Oakland manager Bob Geren is still open-minded about who will be on the mound against Seattle on April 1.
“I’m leaving everything open right now,” Geren said. “I’ll see how everyone comes through the next start.”
Votto also doubled and singled and drove in four runs.
“It’s about that time. You have to have some of your big boys swinging well at the end of spring and the beginning of the season, especially (Jay) Bruce, Votto and (Brandon) Phillips. Our starting guys are swinging good. Jonny Gomes is starting to swing a little better,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said.
Votto, a notoriously slow starter, increased his spring average to .324 with three home runs and a team-high 13 RBIs.
Barton, Kurt Suzuki and Mark Ellis added doubles for the A’s.
Barton has nine hits in his last 22 at-bats.
NOTES: Oakland reliever Craig Breslow made his first Cactus League appearance. He had a strained left hamstring that had restricted him to minor league games. … Reds closer Francisco Cordero has six straight scoreless appearances. … Cincinnati’s projected starting lineup played all nine innings with the exception of Phillips, who played five. … Drew Stubbs struck out four times against Oakland. “Stubby’s struggling a bit,” Baker said. “We’re going to DH him in some minor league games to get him extra at-bats.”
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