Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Indians win another slugfest with Reds; Cabrera, Fielder hit homers in Tiger loss


GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Once the Tigers tossed Ryan Raburn aside, the Indians happily snagged him.

Raburn helped his chances to make Cleveland's roster as a utility player by hitting two more homers Saturday, and the Indians outlasted the Cincinnati Reds 13-10 in another high-scoring exhibition between Ohio's major leaguers.

Raburn also homered in Friday's spring opener and has connected for a homer in his three at-bats this spring, driving in five runs.

He was released by Detroit in November following a disappointing season. Raburn opened 2012 as the Tigers' starting second baseman, but batted .171 in 66 games and was demoted to the minor leagues. When Indians manager Terry Francona was hired in October, he targeted Raburn, telling general manager Chris Antonetti that if the 31-year-old ever became available to scoop him up.

"Sometimes by the luck of the draw you might have a chance to get a guy like that," Francona said. "Maybe we caught a break."

For the second straight day, hitters on both teams teed off on pitchers still working on mechanics and location. The Reds and Indians have combined for 44 runs and 62 hits while playing for 6 hours, 47 minutes.

Shin-Soo Choo singled and scored twice for the Reds, who plan to bat the center fielder in the leadoff spot this season. Cincinnati had the NL's lowest on-base percentage from the top of the order last year, and manager Dusty Baker believes Choo can get the Reds started.

Choo, who batted in the No. 1 spot 98 times for the Indians in 2012, has reached base three times and scored three runs in two games.

Indians starter Brett Myers allowed two earned runs in two innings. The right-hander is in Cleveland's rotation after making 70 relief appearances for Houston and the White Sox a year ago. He still doesn't understand why the Astros made him a reliever after he started 66 games in two seasons — "Call them. I still don't know," he said — and he's focused on pitching as many innings as he can for the Indians.

Cabrera, Fielder hit homers in Tiger loss

LAKELAND, Fla. — Prince Fielder's drive sailed well past the wall in right field, toward the roof of the batting cages at Joker Marchant Stadium. Not to be outdone, Miguel Cabrera hit a home run two innings later to the back of the grassy berm in left-center.

"I have no idea how far either of them went, but they were both bombs," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

Detroit's two sluggers put on an impressive power show, and they were just the opening act in the Tigers' 10-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. Bruce Rondon, the hard-throwing 22-year-old who could be Detroit's new closer, struck out J.P. Arencibia and Josh Thole to escape a fifth-inning jam.

The revamped Blue Jays, meanwhile, won their exhibition opener as John Gibbons began his second stint as Toronto's manager. The Blue Jays were without new shortstop Jose Reyes, but Brett Lawrie hit a two-run single in the third.

Lance Zawadzki hit a grand slam in the sixth to break a 3-all tie.

Rondon started off with a couple quick strikes to Maicer Izturis, but his next pitch was inside and appeared to catch plate umpire Jeff Gosney in the foot.

"I'm sure he was a little nervous his first time out, a little wild, but he settled down," catcher Alex Avila said. "It was fun to catch him. By far he has one of the best arms I've ever seen."

Anibal Sanchez threw two scoreless innings for Detroit. He caught a break in the second when center fielder Austin Jackson threw out Toronto's Moses Sierra at third for the third out, just as it looked like a run was about to score.

Detroit's baserunning wasn't much better. Sierra threw Jhonny Peralta out from right field for the first out of the bottom of the second when Peralta was trying to go from first to third on a single.

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