Masterson shelled by Reds in 1st inning

Tigers’ Smyly struggles in loss to Nats

The Indians’ Juan Diaz throws  out the Reds' Jason Donald from short in the third inning of Sunday’s exhibition game. The two teams ended the game tied at 7 after nine innings.
The Indians’ Juan Diaz throws out the Reds' Jason Donald from short in the third inning of Sunday’s exhibition game. The two teams ended the game tied at 7 after nine innings.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — After hitting four home runs to build a comfortable lead, the Cincinnati Reds made four errors and let it slip away.

Xavier Paul and Todd Frazier homered in Cincinnati's five-run first inning against Cleveland opening-day starter Justin Masterson before the Reds and Indians tied 7-7 in a game called after nine innings on Sunday.

Paul connected after singles by Zack Cozart and Joey Votto. Frazier's shot followed a walk to Jay Bruce. It was the second home run of the spring for both players.

Masterson got through the rocky first and pitched shutout ball from there. He went four innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out six. The right-hander whiffed four of his last six batters.

He was able to adjust his delivery on the fly to finish his outing.

"I walked Xavier Paul throwing sliders," Masterson said, referring to a sequence in the third inning. "I was pulling my pitches. I closed my hips a little bit and sure enough my pitches had more depth to them.

"I got some quick innings after that."

First-year manager Terry Francona envisions Masterson playing an important role.

"Masterson has embraced being the leader of this staff," Francona said.

NOTES: Indians catcher Yan Gomes sat out with a tight right hamstring. ... Indians RHP Chris Perez will throw a bullpen on Monday. He is recovering from a strained right shoulder. "The intensity of this bullpen will be monitored," Francona said. "After that his side sessions will be normal." ... Scott Kazmir pitched in a minor league game against the Texas Rangers. Kazmir, in the mix to be the No. 5 starter for the Indians, pitched five innings. He allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.


Nationals 12, Tigers 10

LAKELAND, Fla. — With opening day only two weeks away, Detroit Tigers starter Drew Smyly might have picked the wrong time to go into a slump.

Smyly, who began the spring with nine scoreless innings in his first three starts, has given up seven earned runs in his last two outings, including five in Sunday's loss.

Smyly is competing with Rick Porcello for the final spot in the rotation behind Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Doug Fister, and Max Scherzer. Porcello hasn't walked a batter all spring and has a 2.50 ERA.

After giving up five earned runs in four innings against the Nationals, Smyly said he simply had to work on keeping the ball down.

"I just struggled with everything," he said. "I kept the ball up and I can't do that. Let's just put it this way: They got me good."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland was succinct about the left-hander's performance.

"[Smyly] got the ball up and he had to pay the price," Leyland said. "He can't do that."

Tyler Moore homered twice and had three RBIs for the Nationals. Chris Marrero also drove in three runs. Bryce Harper was 1 for 3 with a double for the Nationals and is batting .409 this spring. Danny Espinosa added two hits and an RBI.

Matt Tuiasosopo homered and knocked in two runs for the Tigers. He also scored three times.

Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez each had two RBIs for Detroit.

NOTES: Detroit OF Quintin Berry walked and scored a run, then was removed from the game. He has been struggling with patellar tendinitis. ... Scherzer has pitched 8 2-3 innings in three starts this spring. He has struck out 14 without allowing a run. ... RHP Octavio Dotel is the only Tigers player remaining in the World Baseball Classic.