By Gary Schatz
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Billy Hamilton played for Cincinnati, while Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar doubled, scored and drove in a run in the Reds 4-2 win over the Royals, Tuesday.
Escobar opened the game with a double and scored on a single by Eric Hosmer against former Royal Brandon Finnegan.
The Royals’ Omar Infante also had two hits and scored with two outs in the fifth inning when Escobar bunted against a charging Adam Duvall, who played third base for the first time this spring.
Jay Bruce doubled home a run in the Reds’ two-run first against Ian Kennedy. Joey Votto had two singles and a walk, and has reached base in eight of his nine appearances. And Duvall, who is still in the competition for the Reds’ open left-field job, drove in a run with a single.
Kennedy pitched out of trouble and kept it close during his four innings.
“His fastball command was off,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “His command will come around. He did a phenomenal job of keeping it close.
Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton had his first at-bat since March 2, bunting for a base hit.
“It was a blessing being out there with the guys. I’m a part of the team again,” said Hamilton, who’d been out with discomfort in his surgically repaired right shoulder. “That first inning went the way I wanted. What I love to do is run. If I can get on base I can make things happen.”
The Reds scored two seventh-inning runs off Danny Duffy.
“Danny stinks in spring,” Yost said. “When the season starts he’s pretty good. I don’t have to evaluate him. I know him. I just look back at his history.”
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Finnegan, who came to the Reds during the Royals’ last-season trade for Johnny Cueto, had two hard comebackers knock his glove off.
After he hit Alex Gordon with a misplaced breaking ball, Mike Moustakas and Hosmer sent screamers back through the box. Moustakas knocked his glove off of Finnegan’s hand and Hosmer’s caught him on the palm of his right hand.
“I couldn’t react in time,” Finnegan said of Hosmer’s hit. “I couldn’t react to it. He got a good piece of it, but luckily I got him out. Hos and I are real close.”
Royals: Kennedy pitched four innings, allowing seven hits and two runs. “It’s a good sign when you do that without your best stuff,” Yost said. “All in all he did a good job to limit the damage.” Kennedy, who spent last season with San Diego, is one of nine pitchers to make 30 or more starts in six straight seasons.
Reds: Finnegan had his longest outing of the spring with 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out four. “It was a thousand times better than the last time,” said Finnegan, who gave up two runs in 2 2/3 innings to Colorado during his last game. “Everything was working. I was spotting my fastball. My change-up was really good today.”
Royals: The Royals moved LHP Mike Minor to the 60-day disabled list to make room for RHP Dillon Gee, whose contract the Royals selected from Triple A Omaha. Gee had a clause that allowed him to be a free agent if he was not on the 40-man roster by today.
Reds: An MRI revealed that RHP Michael Lorenzen has a sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament and tendonitis in his elbow but no structural damage. He will be re-examined by Dr. Timothy Kremchek on Thursday. … OF Billy Hamilton (shoulder) and OF Kyle Wadrop (groin) shared designated hitting duties against the Royals. … C Devin Mesoraco (hip and quad) will play in his first spring game on Thursday against the Cleveland Indians.
Royals: RHP Chris Young will start for the Royals when they host RHP John Lackey and the Chicago Cubs.
Reds: The Reds travel to play the Arizona Diamondbacks in a night game and will start RHP Jon Moscot against LHP Patrick Corbin.
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