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Reds-Brewers enact bizarre exhibition (23 runs)

As Cat Stevens once sang, ‘Oh, baby, it’s a wild world.’

And it certainly was a wild world Friday afternoon when the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers gathered in Goodyear, Ariz., for an exhibition baseball game.

Twenty-three runs. Thirty-five hits. It wasn’t a day to be auditioning for pitching jobs as the Reds outlasted the Brewers, 12-11.

Sal Romano, trying to put an exclamation point on his casting call for a spot in the Reds starting rotation, struck out the side in the top of the first inning: Keon Broxton swinging, Eric Thames called out. Ryan Braun called out.

And then. . .

The Reds batted in the bottom of the first and scored four runs. Zack Cozart homered, Devin Mesoraco singled, Eugenio Suarez singled. Adam Duvall walked to fill the bases. Scott Schebler singled for two runs. Patrick Kivelehan hit a sacrifice fly. Reds 4, Brewers 0.

And then. . .

Romano’s world collapsed around his ears in the top of the second. The Brewers scored five runs.

Jesse Aguilar singled, Manny Pina reached on shortstop Zack Cozart’s throwing error. Eric Sogard triples for two runs. Orlando Arcia doubles for a run. Former Reds utility player Ivan DeJesus Jr. singles for a run. Keon Broxton doubles for a run. Brewers 5, Reds 4.

And then. . .

Zack Cozart drills a one-out double in the bottom of the second and was picked off second base.

And then. . .

The Reds scored three runs in the bottom of the third and all three came after two outs and nobody on.

Schebler walked and Kivlehan singled. Sebastian Elizalde doubled for two runs. Brandon Dixon doubles for a run. Reds 7, Brewers 5.

And then. . .

 

Milwaukee’s Arcia triples to open the fourth but is thrown out at home trying to score on a ground ball to pitcher Romano.

 

And then. . .

 

In the bottom of the fifth, Romano retired the first two batters, including a strikeout of Ryan Braun for the third straight time. But with two outs and nobody on, Jesus Aguilar singled. Pitching coach Mack Jenkins visited the mound and Romano stayed in. Before Jenkins could sit down in the dugout, Romano gave up a two-run home run to Manny Pina to tie it. 7-7.

 

Romano’s day was done — 4 2/3 innings, seven runs (five earned), nine hits no walks, six strikeouts.

 

And then. . .

 

In the bottom of the fifth the first three Reds hit safely for two runs. Patrick Kivlehan singled, Sebastian Elizaldo singled and Brandon Dixon doubled for two runs. Reds 9, Brewers 7.

 

And then. . .

 

The Brewers scored a run in the top of the seventh with two outs and nobody on when Drew Storen gave up a single and a triple. Reds 9, Brewers 8.

 

And then. . .

 

In the bottom of the eighth the Reds scored two runs. Arismendy Alcantara singled and scored on a double by Nick Senzel, the Reds No. 1 draft pick last June, making his major league spring exhibition debut, doubled for a run. Reds 10, Brewers 8.

 

And then. . .

 

In the top of the ninth the Brewers scored three runs off somebody named Jacob Ehret, the first on a bases loaded walk and two more on a double by quaintly named Nate Orf. Brewers 11, Reds 10.

 

And then. . .

 

By now, both lineups were populated by names on both side populated mostly by household names (familiar in only their own households). The Reds filled the bases with two outs and a familiar name, Arismendy Alcantara doubled to send him the tying and winning runs, a walk-off hit and the end of a bizarre afternoon. Reds 12, Brewers 11.

 

Among the 19 hits by the Reds were three by Zack Cozart, two (2-for-2) by Alcantara, two by Eugenio Suarez, two by Patrick Kivlehan (now hitting .409), two by Sebastian Elizalde and two by Brandon Dixon (three RBI).

 

Pitchng? Not so good, starting with Sal Romano and extending through five other pitchers (11 runs, 16 hits).

 


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