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Lit Up, Francis. OAK 8, CIN 4.

The soft-tossing lefty was hit hard as the Reds fake fell in today's tussle.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

While Brandon Phillips has struggled to find the occasional single this Spring, he's had no issue providing souvenirs to his Debbies beyond the LF fence.  Phillips mashed his 5th HR of the Cactus League season this afternoon as part of his 2 for 3 day, and for that he can take home this edition of the JNMHSotG.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Billy Hamilton, who had a 2 RBI day thanks to a pair of Cozarts; Roger Bernadina, who was 1 for 3 with a walk; Jason Bourgeois, who likewise went 1 for 3 with a walk (and a run scored); and Manny Parra, who continued his breeze through the fake season with another perfect inning (which lowered his Spring ERA to a pristine 1.00).

Key Plays

  • Phillips hit in the 3rd spot in the lineup today, so obviously he wasted little time in putting an RBI in his quiver by launching a solo HR in the Top of the 1st.  Reds led, 1-0.
  • Jeff Francis was on the hill for the Reds this afternoon, and his day turned for the worse in the Bottom of the 2nd.  Francis walked Yoenis Cespedes to lead off, and after Derek Norris singled, Brandon Moss made said walk haunt with a moon ball HR to CF.  Reds trailed, 3-1.
  • The A's are cool, which is cool, and they did what they could to help the Reds get a few runs back in the Top of the 3rd.  Bourgeois hit a tough grounder to SS, and he moved to 2B when Jed Lowrie's throw went awry.  Corky Miller and his mustache moved Bourgeois to 3B productively, and Hamilton hit his first sac fly to get Bourgeois in.  I may not be able to type Bourgeois much more this year, if ever, so you're same sure I'm going to type Bourgeois until the proletariat rise and slay me and my keyboard.  A trio of singles from Chris Heisey, Phillips, and Todd Frazier followed for another run.  Game tied, 3-3.
  • Francis was bit by the walk bug again in the Bottom of the 3rd, however, as he walked Donaldson and Lowrie before a Norris single scored one.  Errors on balls hit by Zack Cozart and Bourgeois set up Billy's 2nd sac fly of the day in the Top of the 4th, but the A's struck back in the Bottom of the 4th courtesy of a single from Eric Sogard and his Face of the MLB and a Donaldson double.  Reds trailed, 5-4.
  • Josh Reddick hit a ball longer than his beard ever was in the Bottom of the 5th for a solo jack, and hits from basically everyone of the A's I've already mentioned drove in two off Sam LeCure in the Bottom of the 7th to wrap the scoring.  Reds lose, 8-4.
Graph Section

Other Notes

  • Johnny Cueto threw in an A-ball game in Goodyear today with both Jeff Brantley and C. Trent Rosecrans in appearance.  From what we info I can glean, Cueto's velocity looked good, and after he got beat around by a lot of first-pitch swingers in the 1st inning, he settled in with some pretty good looking stuff.  He allowed a ton of runs (6), but struck out 11 and routinely touched 93 mph.  I'll assume he was working on throwing hard over the plate, and if that was the goal of the exercise, I'm happy.  Cueto pitched 5+ innings, too, which is a big middle finger to the irritation in his scapula.
  • Devin Mesoraco also is apparently feeling better, as he took a pile of swings in the batting cage as the next step in his recovery from a strained oblique.
  • Come on, regular season.  It's Spring Training's fault for going 42 in a 65, so just go ahead and pass it already.
  • Tunes.