By HAL McCOY
Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price used his Opening Day lineup and batting order Wednesday in his team’s final spring exhibition game in Arizona, a 9-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
The lineup: CF Billy Hamilton, 2B Jose Peraza, 1B Joey Votto, LF Adam Duvall, 3B Eugenio Suarez, RF Scott Schebler, SS Zack Cozart, C Tucker Barnhart.
OPENING DAY STARTER Scott Feldman was not on the mound. Brandon Finnegan, who will pitch Game 2 of the season, faced the Indians and was not sharp after a 1-2-3 first inning.
His teammates gave him a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a walk to Billy Hamilton, a home run by Jose Peraza and a mammoth home run off the top of the scoreboard in left field by Adam Duvall.
Finnegan then gave up four runs in the top of the second, including a three-run home run by Yandy Diaz.
Finnegan pitched four innings and gave up four runs (three earned), seven hits, three walks and struck out three.
Louis Coleman, a non-roster righthanded pitcher signed to a minor league contract in January after pitching for the Royals and Dodgers, pitched one inning Wednesday and gave up three runs and three hits, two of them home runs.
SCOOTER GENNETT, ACQUIRED Tuesday off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers, made his Reds debut a noteworthy one by hitting a home run to left field, the opposite field, against Tribe bullpen ace Andrew Miller in Gennett’s first at bat. Then he hit into a double play in his second at bat.
Gennett, who grew up in Cincinnati and was a Reds fan, was a Reds tormentor as a Brewer. Even though he is only 26, he gives the Reds a veteran presence on the bench and is a guy who can step in and play every day if an injury necessitates it.
Billy Hamilton, a struggler all spring, was on base three straight times with a walk and two hits and lifted his spring average to .231.
Duvall’s gargantuan home run was his third in two days. He added a single and his spring average is .302.
Joey Votto went 0 for 3 and is 10 for 50 this spring (.200) with no home runs and two doubles, but knowledgeable fans realize that Votto seldom excels in spring training.
AFTER A 9-3 VICTORY over the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, the Reds firmed up their 25-man roster for Opening Day.
And it is:
RHP Scott Feldman, LHP Brandon Finnegan, RHP Rookie Davis, LHP Amir Garrett, RHP Bronson Arroyo.
RHP Drew Storen, RHP Raisel Iglesias, RHP Michael Lorenzen, LHP Tony Cingrani, RHP Robert Stephenson, LHP Cody Reed, RHP Blake Wood, RHP Barrett, Astin, LHP Wandy Peralta
Tucker Barnhart, Stuart Turner.
Joey Votto, Jose Peraza, Zack Cozart, Eugenio Suarez, Scooter Gennett.
Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, Scott Schebler, Patrick Kivlehan, Arismendy Alcantara.
General Manager Dick Williams, appearing on FoxOhio TV during Wednesday’s telecast, told Thom Brennaman and Chris Welsh that the rotation is flexible and just because Reed and Stephenson are in the bullpen doesn’t mean they won’t make some starts during the course of the season.
Neither Reed nor Stephenson has pitched out of the bullpen and Williams emphasized that they will get some starts. And he added some of the pitchers, and roster players, could be up-and-down between the Reds and Triple-A Louisville. Everything is fluid.
He also said that he has told manager Bryan Price that winning games this year isn’t as important as it is to develop the young talent, get them experience for the future.