Butler goes deep in losing cause
Davies blanks Reds for three innings; Willis throws two perfect
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Drew Stubbs socked a three-run homer to lead the Cincinnati Reds over the Kansas City Royals, 5-2, in a Cactus League game on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium.
For the Royals, Billy Butler belted a two-run homer, his first of the spring, to left field after Melky Cabrera was walked in the third inning by Reds starter Travis Wood. In three innings, Wood gave up five hits and two walks.
"I felt good. My pitches were working pretty well," Wood said. "[Butler] was able to drop the head down on an inside pitch and put up two for them."
Royals starter Kyle Davies worked three scoreless innings, but had to dodge considerable trouble, forcing the Reds to strand five runners. Davies gave up four singles and a walk.
The Reds jumped ahead, 3-2, in the fourth inning. After left-hander Danny Duffy got two outs, he suffered a control lapse and issued two walks. Then Stubbs hammered a three-run homer to right. It was his first homer of the Cactus League season.
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"It's really frustrating, because I know I've got better stuff than that," Duffy said.
Stubbs teed off on a 3-2 fastball.
"I think I gave him a cookie," Duffy said. "I just tried to place it a little too much; I just need to throw it."
Duffy rebounded to pitch a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth.
Reds reliever Dontrelle Willis, competing for a bullpen job, worked two perfect innings with three strikeouts. Sam LeCure also turned in two scoreless innings, giving up two singles.
Up next for Royals: Left-hander Bruce Chen, one of six candidates jockeying for five rotation spots, makes his third Cactus League appearance against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday at 2:05 p.m. CT at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Ariz. Chen gave up just one run and three hits in his first four innings this spring. This will be a crucial outing for Everett Teaford, a rookie left-hander trying to win a roster spot. Teaford has been tagged for 10 runs in his first 2 1/3 innings in two previous outings. Also scheduled to pitch are right-handers Kanekoa Texeira and Jesse Chavez.
Up next for Reds: All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips has missed the past couple of days with flu-like symptoms, but he is scheduled to make the trip to Peoria on Wednesday when the Reds face the Padres at 3:05 p.m. ET. Edinson Volquez has been scratched as the starter, as he continues to try to get a work visa in the Dominican Republic; right-hander Chad Reineke, making his second start of the spring, will throw in his stead. The Reds hitters will be opposed by a familiar face in Aaron Harang, who was the Reds' No. 1 starter from 2003-10. Harang's option was not exercised over the winter, and he signed as a free agent with his hometown Padres. Also scheduled to pitch for Cincinnati are Daniel Ray Herrera, Jared Burton, Jordan Smith and Logan Ondrusek.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.