Prince swats first homer since Cactus opener
Perez issues bases-loaded walk in 10th; Soto, Rios combine for three RBIs
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Prince Fielder slugged his first home run since the first day of Cactus League games for the Rangers while Brandon Phillips went deep for the Reds. In the end, Cincinnati came away as 5-4 winners on Joey Votto's bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning Thursday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark.
Cincinnati was trailing, 4-2, in the seventh when Kris Negron hit a two-run triple off of the wall in left-center field against reliever Neal Cotts that scored Jay Bruce and Corky Miller and evened the game.
Texas had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first against Reds starter Jeff Francis, who filled in after Johnny Cueto was scratched with an irritation around his right scapula. Josh Wilson rolled a one-out double down the left-field line before Fielder walked and Adrian Beltre was hit by a pitch. Wilson scored on a single off of Francis' glove. Geovany Soto's single on the ground to left field added two more runs.
Beltre, who was playing for the first time in a week after he suffered a tight left quadriceps, also hit a leadoff double to left field in the third inning.
"It's nice to start having our lineup together," Alex Rios said. "You get to see how things are going to go during the season. It's exciting to have those guys in front of me. It will be a fun year."
Francis finished with three runs and seven hits allowed over four innings. He walked one and struck out six.
In the bottom of the first inning against Robbie Ross, Ryan Ludwick hit an RBI single to right field.
Fielder made it a 4-1 game with he crushed a 1-1 pitch from reliever Sam LeCure for a booming solo homer to right-center field. His last homer came on Feb. 27 in his second spring at-bat.
Ross was still pitching in the Reds' sixth when Phillips hit a 0-1 pitch for a one-out homer to left field, his third of the season. In 5 2/3 innings, Ross allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Up next: Tanner Scheppers continues his bid for the rotation when the Rangers host the Brewers at 3:05 p.m. CT on Friday in Surprise, Ariz. Scheppers has a 3.12 ERA and has held opponents to a .194 batting average. Yu Darvish will pitch in a Minor League game so the Rangers can continue to evaluate Scheppers.